Levin, Robert, distinguished American pianist, fortepianist, harpsichordist, and music scholar; b. N.Y., Oct. 13, 1947. He attended the Chatham Square Music School in N.Y. (1957–61), where he received training in composition from Wolpe. He was a student at the summer courses at the American Cons, in Fontainebleau (1960–64), where his mentors included Boulanger (analysis, counterpoint, fugue, harmony, composition, and organ), and Jean Casadesus (piano), and where he also attended master classes given by Curzon and Robert Casadesus. He pursued training in conducting with Carvalho at the Berkshire Music Center at Tangle wood (summer, 1965) and with Swarowsky and Österreicher in Nice (summers, 1966-67), and completed his academic studies at Harvard Univ. (A.B., 1968, with the thesis The Unfinished Works of W.A. Mozart). From 1968 to 1973 he was head of the theory dept. at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia and was harpsichordist and pianist of the Boston Sym. Orch., positions he also held with the Cantata Singers in Boston from 1968 to 1974. In 1971 he became the pianist of the N.Y. Philo-musica, a position he retained for some 30 years. He was an assoc. prof. (1972–75) and a prof. (1975–86) at the State Univ. of N.Y. at Purchase. From 1984 to 1991 he was the pianist of the Ensemble Sequenza in Germany, and from 1986 to 1993 he was prof, of piano at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg im Breisgau. In 1993 he became prof, of music and in 1994 the Dwight P. Robinson Jr., Prof, of the Humanities at Harvard Univ. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., in 1996. Levin has made many appearances as a soloist with orchs. in the U.S. and abroad, has toured extensively as a recitalist in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and has played much chamber music in the U.S. and Europe. He has won particular distinction for his insightful interpretations of concertos by Mozart and Beethoven on the fortepiano, and for his improvised cadenzas and embellishments. His repertoire ranges from Byrd and Bach to Harbison and Kurtâg. He has completed or reconstructed several scores by Mozart, including the Requiem, K.626 (1966-67; 1982; 1990-93), the Symphonie concertante in E-flat major, K.297b/Anh. 9 (1981–83), and the Horn Concerto in E-flat major, K.370b/371 (1993–97). With C. Eisen, he oversaw the complete edition of Mozart’s piano concertos for Breit-kop & Härtel. In addition to his contributions to scholarly books and journals, he publ. Sightsinging and Ear Training Through Literature (with L. Martin; Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1988) and Who Wrote the Mozart Four-Wind Concertante? (Stuyvesant, N.Y, 1988).
—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire