Over the course of his career, Paul Evans Robinson has acquired a formidable reputation as broadcaster, author, conductor, and teacher. He has communicated the joy of music to more than a generation of musicians and music lovers in Canada and elsewhere. No wonder he was deemed by Toronto Life a “civic treasure”!
To learn more about Paul Robinson and his career, click the links in the right-hand bar timeline.
Robinson was born in Canada (Toronto). He studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and went on to receive an M.A. in the Aesthetics of Music from the University of Toronto. He studied double bass with Frederick Zimmerman of the New York Philharmonic, and took a diploma in conducting at the Salzburg Mozarteum with Herbert von Karajan and Bruno Maderna. Before returning to Toronto in 1972, he was a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong and conductor of the Victoria Chamber Symphony in Hong Kong, and then taught at the State University of New York in Fredonia.
From 1972 to 1992, Robinson was music director of CJRT-FM, the largest educational radio station in Canada at the time. Upon assuming the position, he completely reorganized the station’s programming, initiated regular broadcasts of live concerts as well as comprehensive whole day-programming devoted to the work of a single composer, and founded the CJRT Orchestra of which he was the principal conductor. Robinson’s popularity as a radio personality lent to his verbal introductions at live CJRT concerts a special personal touch, much appreciated by subscribers. CJRT Orchestra broadcasts with Robinson’s introductions were heard across Canada over a network of stations, and received numerous awards of excellence from the Canadian Music Council.
While music director of CJRT-FM, Robinson wrote the first four books in a planned series based on his weekly radio program, ‘The Art of The Conductor’. Karajan (Toronto 1975); Stokowski (Toronto 1977); Solti (Toronto 1979), and Bernstein (Toronto 1982) were published in Canada, Great Britain, the USA, Russia, Germany and Japan. The author’s revised and updated Solti was released Spring of 2006, to be followed by Karajan in the winter of 2007 (100th anniversary), and Stokowski and Bernstein soon thereafter.
Also during this period, Robinson succeeded Franz Kraemer as director of programming (1979-1980) for Toronto Arts Productions (St. Lawrence Centre); appeared as guest conductor with orchestras in Canada, the USA, Mexico, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Venezuela and Hong Kong; and made a number of recordings on the Naxos and RCA (BMG) labels.
Robinson resigned his position as Music Director of CJRT-FM in 1992, but continued to contribute programming as host of Records in Review for several more years. Some of the programs were recorded at WRR in Dallas for broadcast in both Toronto and Dallas.
Paul Evans Robinson is listed in The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, and in The International Who’s Who of Music.