Between the BarlinesRobert McDuffie
During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.
Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie won international acclaim while working with some of the world’s best symphonies, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics and the Hamburg Symphony. A strong proponent for classical music, Robert is founder of both the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy and the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University in his native city of Macon, Georgia. On July 20th, with help from acclaimed conductor Rei Hotoda, Robert will be performing Phillip Glass’ lauded concerto “The American Four Seasons,” a piece that Robert himself helped commission.
In this interview, Robert discusses how the vibrant life of Rome has influenced his work and his life, including his role with the Rome Chamber Festival and his relationship with the Mayor of Rome. Robert also talks about one of his most memorable experiences with an audience member who was reading a book during his performance. Furthermore, Robert comments on his relationships with the band R.E.M. and acclaimed American conductor Phillip Glass.
When discussing his upcoming performance with the Utah Symphony, Robert says, “It’s amazingly beautiful. I asked [Phillip Glass] to use a synthesizer instead of the harpsichord that Vivaldi used to get that Rock N’ Roll Phillip Glass sound…some really beautiful music came out of this experience. It’s really taken off and the title is provocative and the word-of-mouth of the piece has been great. I think this will be close to the 90th performance of this piece that I’ve had.”