Robert Lombardo

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Robert Lombardo
BornRobert Michael Lombardo[1]
(1932-03-05) March 5, 1932 (age 86)[1]

Robert Michael Lombardo (born March 5, 1932) is an American composer and composition teacher.[2][3][4]


Born in Hartford, Connecticut to Sicilian immigrants, he received his musical training at the Hartt College of Music, the University of Hartford (BMus., composition cum laude, 1954, MMus., composition, 1955),[5] Hochschule für Musik, Berlin (1958–1959)[5] and the University of Iowa (Ph.D., composition, 1959–1961).[5] His principal composition teacher was Arnold Franchetti.[6] He also studied with Philip Bezanson and Boris Blacher.[1]

He began teaching music theory at the University of Iowa in 1959,[5] then moved to Hartt College in 1963.[5] In 1964, he became Professor of theory and composition and Composer-in-Residence at The Music Conservatory of Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago,[5] a position he would hold for 35 years until 1999.[5]


His compositions include over 200 works for opera, orchestra, chamber music, instrumental solos, choral music, musicals, and electronic music[7][8] He has collaborated with his wife, Kathleen, poet and playwright, on several compositions. He is also one of the few composers writing for the mandolin. Dimitris Marinos[9] performed his Concerto for Mandolin and String Quartet in a world premiere in Chicago in 1995[10] In addition, Marinos has recorded six of Lombardo's compositions.[6]

His works have been performed all over the world. In 1992, contemporary music group CUBE performed his work, in Chicago.[11] Roosevelt University hosted a performance of several of his works on his 80th birthday.[12][13] And for these, Lombardo has been the recipient of multiple awards. In 1964, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition,[14] and two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and three Ford Foundation Grants in 1962, 1963 and 1964 among others.[15]

Lombardo's works are not limited to simply compositions; he is also respected for his commissions, which include an important work commissioned by the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation[16] and housed in the Library of Congress.[17] Robert Lombardo's papers, including musical scores and correspondence, are housed at the Northwestern University Library.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "Robert Lombardo" at the Northwestern University Library
  2. ^ Anderson, E Ruth (1976). Contemporary American Composers. A biographical dictionary. Boston: G K Hall & Co. ISBN 0816111170.
  3. ^ Ewen, David (1982). American Composers: A biographical dictionary. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0399126260.
  4. ^ Rehrig, William H (1991). The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. Composers and their music (Two volumes)|format= requires |url= (help). Westerville, OH: Integrity Press. ISBN 0918048087.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Official website - comprehensive biography
  6. ^ a b Official website - brief bio
  7. ^ Vinton, John (1974). Dictionary of Contemporary Music. New York: Dutton. ISBN 0525091254.
  8. ^ Composium Directory of New Music. Annual index of contemporary compositions. Sedro Woolley, WA: Crystal Musicworks. 1981, 1982/83. ISSN 0275-2301. Check date values in: |year= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Crosssound Musicians 1999-2006". CrossSound.
  10. ^ Delacoma, Wynne (January 20, 1995). "Opens Opens Northwestern U Career with Piano Concert". Chicago Sun-Times.
  11. ^ Delacoma, Wynne (January 23, 1992). "Concert Honors 3 Local Composers". Chicago Sun-Times.
  12. ^ John von Rhein Recommends, Chicago Tribune, November 9, 2012
  13. ^ Shen, Ted (November 23, 2002). "Gentle reading of Lombardo". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Robert Lombardo". Guggenheim Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  15. ^ "ASCAP adds to $$ grants". Billboard. June 8, 1968. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  16. ^ Koussevitzky Foundation Archives, 1965
  17. ^ "Koussevitzky Foundations Announces Commission Winners". Library of Congress. January 6, 2012.
  18. ^ "Guide to the Robert Lombardo papers". University of Northwestern. Retrieved 6 April 2013.

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