Robert Fleitz, whose playing has been called “mesmerizing” by the New York Times, is a Manhattan-based pianist and composer, committed to building community through new works of music and ambitious entrepreneurial advocacy. Robert has commissioned and premiered over forty solo, chamber, and music-theater works in the past four years, and has founded two innovative ensembles: Resonant Grounds, a bassoon-piano duo that promotes new music through performance and education; and Toyeurism, an electroacoustic band featuring live electronics and toy pianos. He is also a member of both of Juilliard’s new music ensembles, AXIOM and the New Juilliard Ensemble, the latter with which he gave the U.S. premiere of Michio Mamiya’s Piano Concerto IV: Scenes of an Unborn Opera. Hisown compositions have recently been performed at venues such as the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York and the Koncertkirken in Copenhagen.
Recent highlights of the past few months include a concert pairing Liszt’s music with that of living Hungarian composers in Debrecen, Hungary; an artist residency at the Danbury Chamber Music Intensive in Danbury, CT; and his Juilliard degree recital, where he premiered a newly commissioned set of 15 variations by 15 composers on Guillaume de Machaut’s 14th-century break-up anthem Douce Dame Jolie. His winter season culminated with This Is Not a Piano Recital, a concert of newly commissioned works for alternative keyboard instruments.
Education and arts outreach are a focal point of Robert’s work. He was recently invited to become a teaching apprentice with the New York Philharmonic. His past work has included teaching musical theater to students in Sitka, Alaska, and ear training to graduate students at The Juilliard School--as well as organizing outreach trips to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Arusha, Tanzania. Robert’s own piano studies began with his father at age 4. He completed his undergraduate studies at The Juilliard School studying with Julian Martin, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree there with Hung-Kuan Chen. Other major teachers and mentors have included Marc Durand, Ching-Wen Hsiao, and Hilary Easton. He has had masterclasses with Yoheved Kaplinsky, Jeremy Denk, and Richard Goode, and performed in festivals at Aspen, Bowdoin, Orford, and Banff. He maintains a strong connection with his home state of Florida, where he frequently performs, and remains an important member of the region’s burgeoning new music community.