Biography

 

     Violinist Robin Sharp is a solo performer, chamber musician, concertmaster, and teacher. Ms. Sharp performs as Concertmaster of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra with conductor Benjamin Simon, and is on the music faculty at Stanford University as Full-time Lecturer in Violin. In addition to maintaining private teaching studios in San Francisco and Palo Alto, she teaches at California Summer Music each summer.  Ms.Sharp currently serves on the Artistic Advisory Board of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and is also on the Advisory Board of California Summer Music.  A frequent guest artist, Ms. Sharp will appear as soloist this season with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Schola Cantorum, and the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra.  Her chamber music engagements this season include ongoing collaborations with the St. Michael Trio, and the Haydn Project, a quartet that is exploring all of the Haydn string quartets.

 

      Ms. Sharp has appeared in recital at many prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the National Music Hall in Taipei, and the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco where she performed on Jascha Heifetz's Del Gesu violin. In 2010, a violin concerto called “Haili Lirico” was written for Ms. Sharp by composer Gabriela Lena Frank, in remembrance of her father, Terry Sharp.  In January 1998 Ms. Sharp represented Carnegie Hall in their Rising Stars Series, when she and her duo partner Jeremy Denk played a recital at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall following a European tour.  The duo also performed on Carnegie Hall's main stage under the guidance of Isaac Stern.

 

      Ms. Sharp participated in music festivals worldwide, including California Summer Music, the Musikalischer Sommer Festival in Germany, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Sandor Vegh masterclasses at Prussia Cove, and the Isaac Stern Seminar in New York. She has formerly served as first violinist of the Ives String Quartet, which toured nationally, and has played in the San Francisco Symphony.

 

      Ms. Sharp played in the San Francisco Symphony violin sections for several seasons, formerly served as concertmaster for the Berkeley Symphony with conductor Kent Nagano for six seasons, and was a guest concertmaster for both a festival concert in Germany under the baton of conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy, and also as guest concertmaster with the Seattle Symphony with conductor Gerard Schwartz.  Among her collaborators in performance have been such artists as Dimitri Ashkenazy, Jon Nakamatsu ,  and Lori Lack with whom she recorded the CD “Selected Shorts”.

 

      Ms. Sharp has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in both the Preparatory and Collegiate divisions, at Santa Clara University, and at Sacramento State University of California.

 

      Ms. Sharp was a Laureate prize winner of the 1994 Indianapolis Violin Competition and was featured in a documentary about the competition.

 

 

Quotes

"Sharp was both elegant and impassioned in her playing, in turn sweetly lyrical and dazzlingly virtuosic. As soon as the piece finished, all I wanted was to hear it performed again."

- San Francisco Classical Voice

 

"Robin Sharp opened the program with the challenging Sonata for Violin Solo by Robert Kurka, best known for his satiric opera The Good Soldier Schweik (just now starting a month-long revival at Glimmerglass Opera in upstate New York.) Kurka, who died of leukemia in his mid-30s, dedicated the three-movement sonata to his wife May, who was present for the reading.   The piece itself is spiky with originality and mastery of classical forms. It sings, dances, reflects and rhapsodizes, and gains counterpoint through liberal use of double-stops. Its final movement is given to a complex set of variations. Robin Sharp negotiated its sometimes-tortuous path with focus, clarity and heartfelt dedication."

-San Francisco Classical Voice

 

"The interplay between lyricism and bursts of virtuosity makes this an imposing work technically,

but a listener would be hard pressed to realize it. Sharp seemed to have nothing to worry about except bringing her entire expressive force to bear on the sonata's increasing complexity."

-Ken Smith, New York Review

 

"The violinist Robin Sharp....offered a distinguished sonata afternoon.  After the first bars of Bach's c minor Sonata (BWV 1017) you could settle back and relax:  The sweetness of the tone, the spacious breadth of the bow phrasings never failed in their effectiveness."

-Volker Fries,  Cologne Rundschau Newspaper