Concertmaster, Katherine Tuck Chair
DSO member since 2022
Daring, versatile, and charismatic, American violinist Robyn Bollinger is the newly appointed Concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Equally at home as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader, and pedagogue, Bollinger is an artist at the forefront of classical music. Having made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut at age 12, she regularly performs with orchestras across the United States. Past highlights include engagements with the Boston Pops and the symphony orchestras of Brevard, California, Charleston, Grand Tetons Music Festival, Helena, Illinois, Indian Hill, Knoxville, and Symphony in C. In 2019, Robyn gave the world premiere of Artifacts, a four-movement violin concerto commissioned by the California Symphony by composer Katherine Balch and written specifically for Robyn.
A sought-after collaborator and recitalist, Robyn is a popular figure on chamber music stages around the world. She is a returning participant at the acclaimed Marlboro Music Festival and has been featured in numerous national tours with Musicians from Marlboro. She has toured in Midori’s Music Sharing International Community Engagement Program “ICEP” in Japan, performing in recital in Osaka’s Phoenix Hall, Tokyo’s Oji Hall, and Tokyo National Arts Center. A prizewinner at the 2007 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Robyn has appeared at the chamber music festivals of Halcyon, Highlands-Cashiers, Lake Champlain, Monadnock, and Orcas Island. She has presented recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, National Sawdust, Emory University, Kalliroscope Gallery, Live from Indian Hill, the California Symphony, and more. She appears regularly with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble in Boston, the Boston Chamber Music Society, Mistral Music, Spruce Peak Chamber Music Society, and Glissando Music, among others.
Robyn has been recognized for both her innovation and entrepreneurship. She received a prestigious Fellowship from the Lenore Annenberg Arts Fellowship Fund for her multimedia performance project, “CIACCONA: The Bass of Time,” later releasing a commercial CD and DVD of the project and presenting a national tour of the program. An examination of the history and legacy of the Bach’s famed chaconne for solo violin, the program received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Bollinger has also been recognized with an Entrepreneurial Musicianship Grant from New England Conservatory for her ground-breaking “Project Paganini,” a performance project featuring the twenty-four Caprices of Paganini. She was recently awarded a historic Early-Career Musician Fellowship from Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, D.C., to research and prepare her next multimedia project, “Encore! Just One More,” to be debuted in future seasons.
A noted leader and ensemble player, Robyn has been a frequent Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony and has made Guest Concertmaster appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony and St. Bart’s Music Festival Orchestra. She is a former member of A Far Cry, the Boston-based, democratically run chamber orchestra, and she has appeared on commercial recordings with both the Pittsburgh Symphony and A Far Cry, all of which were nominated for Grammy Awards.
Robyn is a devoted educator, having presented masterclasses at the Cincinnati Conservatory, the Longy School of music, University of California Bakersfield, Temple University Preparatory School, and a unique masterclass examining classical music in the context of Aristotle at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She is a former faculty member at New England Conservatory Preparatory School in Boston and Brandeis University. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with academic honors from the New England Conservatory of Music. Her major teachers included Soovin Kim, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Paul Kantor, and Lyle Davidson. Robyn currently plays on a 1697 G. B. Rogeri violin on generous loan from a private collector and a 2013 Benoit Rolland bow commissioned specially for her.