|Origin||New Jersey, United States|
|Years active||Early 1990s–present|
|Labels||North Star Music, playMountain Music|
Robin Spielberg (born 1962) is an American pianist, composer and author. Raised in the suburban town of Maplewood, New Jersey, she attended Michigan State University and later Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, graduating from NYU with honors and a BFA in Undergraduate Drama. She has released sixteen albums of piano music. She currently lives in New Freedom, Pennsylvania.
Robin Spielberg's paternal grandfather, Rubin Spielberg was a flutist who performed with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arturo Toscanini and the Metropolitan Opera. Although they never met, in her memoir she credits him with providing creative inspiration and imparting life lessons through dreams during childhood. She began formal piano lessons at the age of seven.
She is a founding member of the Atlantic Theatre Company and acted in dozens of plays with the company including Boys' Life and The Lights by Howard Korder at Lincoln Center. She composed music for several Atlantic Theater Company productions including the David Mamet adaptation of Three Sisters directed by William H. Macy and two children's plays written by David Mamet airing on National Public Radio (NPR): The Poet and the Rent and The Revenge of the Space Pandas. In 1992, Spielberg and Barry Shulak co-wrote a musical for young audiences entitled Balloonland. Originally produced in Vermont by the Atlantic Theater Company, Balloonland later debuted off-Broadway on ATC's New York City stage in 1993.
As of 2013, Spielberg has recorded sixteen albums and appears on over fifty compilations. Her debut album of original piano solos entitled Heal of the Hand was recorded independently in 1993. The album was picked up by the indie label North Star Music in 1994, and became their best-selling CD of the decade. According to North Star president Richard Waterman, Spielberg sold between 160,000 and 200,000 albums during 1995 and 1996, although SoundScan only registered 1,800 sales, with the bulk of sales through specialist outlets. By 1999 she had reportedly sold 300,000 albums.
Spielberg's original 1994 agreement with North Star Music was a six-record deal, covering recording and release of two albums per year over the course of three years. During this period, the following titles were released under the North Star label: Heal of the Hand (1993), Spirit of the Holidays (1994) featuring Christmas-themed tracks, Unchained Melodies (1995), In the Heart of Winter (1995), Songs of the Spirit (1996), and In the Arms of the Wind (1997). Additional titles subsequently released by North Star include Mother (1999) and Spa Piano (2007). The former is a collaboration with singers Cathie Ryan and Susan McKeown featuring songs celebrating motherhood. When North Star folded in 2011, Spielberg bought back the masters for her albums released under that label.
Beginning in 2000, Spielberg started releasing albums under her own playMountain Music label. Titles released under playMountain Music are Beautiful Dreamer (2000), Dreaming of Summer (2000), The Christmas Collection (2002), American Chanukah (2002), With a Song in My Heart (2004), Memories of Utopia (2005), A New Kind of Love (2008), and Sea to Shining Sea: A Tapestry of American Music (2010).
In addition to her recording career, Spielberg served as an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' judging panel. Spielberg also was added to the Steinway Artist Roster in 1996.
Spielberg tours both nationally and overseas. Performance highlights within the United States include three sold-out performances at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York City). Overseas, she has toured South Korea three times appearing at KBS Hall, Seoul Arts Center and the LG Arts Center (2010). Spielberg is signed with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in Asia and her piece "An Improvisation on the Canon in D" is used in the soundtrack of the South Korean television drama series Winter Sonata.
The importance of music therapy is a recurring theme throughout Spielberg's career. She is a national celebrity artist spokesperson for the American Music Therapy Association. As spokesperson, Spielberg often conducts seminars and workshops on the transformative power of music in hospitals, schools and community centers while on tour. She has also performed fundraisers for medical and other charities. In 2014, Spielberg gave a presentation entitled The Healing Power of Music at TEDxLancaster.
She is author of the memoir Naked on the Bench (2013), which Kirkus called a "well-paced musical memoir about the value of perseverance" which avoids sentimentality and balances happy moments with darker content such as being stalked. Spielberg also writes about music therapy in her memoir.
- Heal of the Hand (1993)
- Spirit of the Holidays (1994)
- Unchained Melodies (1995)
- In the Heart of Winter (1995)
- Songs of the Spirit (1996)
- In the Arms of the Wind (1997)
- Mother (1999)
- Beautiful Dreamer (2000)
- Dreaming of Summer (2000)
- The Christmas Collection (2002)
- American Chanukah (2002)
- With a Song in My Heart (2004)
- Memories of Utopia (2005)
- Spa Piano (2007)
- A New Kind of Love (2008)
- Sea to Shining Sea: A Tapestry of American Music (2010)
- Reece, Douglas (1995) "New Age Programmers, Artists Touch Base Online", Billboard, November 25, 1995, p. 97. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- "Robin Spielberg: Setting Her Life to a Soundtrack", Alexandria Times, October 1, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- "Painist Has Gift in Store for Audience", Boston Herald, May 15, 1997
- Spielberg, Robin, Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland, A Memoir, Spobs Music Incorporated 2013, prologue
- Jones, Richard O. (2009) "Robin Spielberg plays Valentines on the piano", Hamilton Journal-News, February 5, 2009
- "Atlantic Theater Company -- Ensemble", Atlantic Theater Company. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Richards, David (1988) " Boys' Life': Knowing The Score; In N.Y., a Sharp Look At the Pickup Game", The Washington Post, March 21, 1988, p. C1
- Stuart, Jan (1991) "A Mamet-Style Version of 'Sisters'", Newsday, April 18, 1991, p. 67 (Part II)
- Gussow, Mel (1991) "Review/Theater; Speaking, in Mamet's Words, to the Subconscious", The New York Times, April 18, 1991. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- "Atlantic Theater Company Production History", Atlantic Theater Company. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- Theater Week, vol. 6 (1993), p. 36
- Wright, Carol "Heal of the Hand Review", Allmusic. Retrieved 10 November 2013
- Brown, Alison (1999) "Spielberg Keyed Up for Concert", Ocala Star-Banner, October 8, 1999, p. 6. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- DiConstanzo, Frank (1996) "In-Store Tours Offer Alternative", Billboard, November 23, 1996, p. 73. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- Beauchamp, Lane (1995) "Dig around and you might just find festive treasures: New holiday releases include many albums of interesting compilations", Kansas City Star, December 8, 1995, p. 12
- "Songs Pay Tribute to Mothers", Deseret News, May 9, 1999
- Independent Music Awards - Past Judges
- "Steinway Artists", Steinway & Sons. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- ""Pianist Robin Spielberg" in Tracy", Lodi News-Sentinel, February 8, 2008, p. 3. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- Schur Zeff, Roberta (2000) "MUSIC; An Infant's Struggle, A Mother's Gift of Life", The New York Times, June 4, 2000. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- "공연예술 국제교류 활동 현황, 2006년 기준 (Record of International Exchange in Performing Arts, January-December 2006)", Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (South Korea) and Korea Arts Management Service, Seoul 2007, p. 132. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- "공연예술 국제교류 활동 현황, 2010년 기준 (Record of International Exchange in Performing Arts, January-December 2010)", Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (South Korea) and Korea Arts Management Service, Seoul 2011, p. 154. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- "“Seoul Calendar: Concerts””, 10 Magazine, v. 2, no. 8 (May 2010), p. 54. Retrieved December 8, 2013.
- "Middletown’s Buttonwood Tree welcomes pianist, author Robin Spielberg Nov. 10", Middletown Press, November 6, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2013
- "Not Feeling It? Try Piano Therapy", Portland Press Herald, November 30, 2006, p. D3
- "Robin Spielberg -- Celebrity Support for Music Therapy", Huffington Post, November 14, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- "Spielberg Appearing at Miller Center", Reading Eagle, November 6, 2008, p. 4. (Music section). Retrieved November 10, 2013
- "Spielberg hits Pullo", York Daily Record, September 25, 2008
- Video: "The healing power of music: Robin Spielberg at TEDxLancaster", May 3, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- "Naked on the Bench (review)". Kirkus Reviews. July 8, 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- Spielberg, Robin, Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland, A Memoir, Spobs Music Incorporated 2013; ISBN 978-0970563354