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Robert Honstein

Composition (Concert Music), Program Director

Music and Performing Arts Professions

Celebrated for his “waves of colorful sounds and breathless eruptions” (New York Times) and “glittery, percussive pieces” (Toronto Globe and Mail), composer Robert Honstein (b. 1980) is a composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. 

Robert’s music has been performed by leading orchestras and ensembles around the country including the American Composers Orchestra, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, eighth blackbird, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble ACJW, the Mivos Quartet, the Del Sol Quartet, the Deviant Septet, Present Music, New Morse Code, TIGUE, Concert Black, and the Sebastians, among others. 

He has received awards, grants, and recognition from Carnegie Hall, Copland House, the New York Youth Symphony, ASCAP, the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, New Music USA, and the League of American Orchestras. 

His work has been featured at numerous festivals including the The Tanglewood Music Center, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Bang on a Can Summer Institute. He has also received residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Copland House, and I-Park. 

Robert is a founding member of the New York based composer collective Sleeping Giant, a group of “five talented guys” (The New Yorker) that are “rapidly gaining notice for their daring innovations, stylistic range and acute attention to instrumental nuance” (WQXR). Recent seasons have seen collaborations with Ensemble ACJW and the Deviant Septet. For the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons Sleeping Giant were composers in residence with the Albany Symphony Orchestra as part of New Music USA’s Music Alive program. 

Robert co-founded Fast Forward Austin, an annual marathon new music festival in Austin, TX. Described as “the first ever classical music event in Austin to make its own beer koozies” (Austin American Statesmen), Fast Forward Austin features local and national, cutting-edge artists in a “welcomingly relaxed venue... [that] tapped into what is so great about the Austin vibe: a community of people who are artistically curious, non- doctrinaire, and unpretentious” (NewMusicBox). 

His debut album, RE: You, was released by New Focus Recordings in 2014 and his second album, Night Scenes from the Ospedale, a collaboration with the Sebastians, was released on Soundspells Productions in 2015. In 2016, Hand Eye, Sleeping Giant’s evening length collaboration with eighth blackbird, was released on Cedille Records. 


Concert Composition

Develop and expand your musical creativity and songwriting skills in diverse styles for concert settings and visual media.

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