Graduate School News

Royster Fellow Will Robin named first-ever 'Scholar-in-Residence'

February 12, 2014

Will Robin

Will Robin

Will Robin, a doctoral student in musicology at UNC-Chapel Hill, will serve as the first-ever Scholar-in-Residence for the North Carolina Symphony, the organization recently announced.

Robin also is a member of the Royster Society of Fellows, which is The Graduate School's select interdisciplinary fellowship program providing full financial support, innovative approaches to learning and unique professional development opportunities.

A critic, scholar and performer, Robin is currently assistant editor of the Journal of the Society for American Music, and has written numerous pieces for The New Yorker and The New York Times. He was the main content curator for the “Reflections on the Rite” blog, a communications component of the University's 2012-13 centennial observance of “The Rite of Spring.” Robin also helped coordinate a Royster Society seminar at which four guest scholars from three different disciplines discussed “How Did 'The Rite of Spring' Make it New?”

Robin's academic research is grounded primarily in the 20th and 21st centuries, and his dissertation will focus on contemporary music in New York City after 2000.

“Many thousands of people have read (and many more will soon read) his writing on modern classical music, but very few people know, or would guess, that he's a graduate student,” said Mark Katz, professor and chair of the Department of Music. “For being such a highflier, however, he's admirably down-to-earth, works extremely hard and takes nothing for granted.”

In his new role with the North Carolina Symphony, Robin will contribute to Symphony program notes and website blogs and host pre-concert lectures. He also will provide context and a platform for deeper understanding of the newer works being presented throughout the season. Robin recently wrote the liner notes for the North Carolina Symphony's recording of Benjamin Britten's cello works featuring Zuill Bailey.

“The North Carolina Symphony has an exciting season ahead in 2014-15, and we are thrilled to welcome Will Robin as our first-ever Scholar-in-Residence,” said Linda Charlton, Symphony vice president for marketing and audience development. “Will's profound knowledge and connection to contemporary music, combined with his proven abilities as a writer make him the perfect choice to help inform our audiences and deepen their experiences with the North Carolina Symphony.”

Robin said he was very excited to work with the Symphony and honored to have been chosen its inaugural Scholar-in-Residence. “My dissertation focuses on today's composers of classical music, and my work with the North Carolina Symphony will help contextualize the fascinating contemporary music that they are performing in their 2014–15 season — a great opportunity to introduce my scholarly interests to a broader public.”

He added: “Rarely are scholars given the chance to bring research into the concert hall, and I can't wait to showcase my work and the great music being composed today to the North Carolina Symphony's audience.”