Robert Taub is an internationally acclaimed leader in the new generation of virtuoso pianists. Since his debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1981, he has performed several times on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center and appeared throughout the United States, Europe, the Far East, and Latin America. His appearances at Carnegie Hall most recently included the world premiere of Milton Babbitt's Concerto No. 2 with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under James Levine.
Taub has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Bonn Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Singapore Symphony. He has also participated in major festivals such as the Saratoga Festival, where he collaborated with Charles Dutoit; the Lichfield Festival in England with Sir Edward Downes; San Francisco's Midsummer Mozart Festival; and the Geneva International Summer Festival. In addition, he has given solo recitals in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, and Manila.
Taub was appointed Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 1994, becoming the first musician to be so recognized in the Institute's sixty-five-year history. (The only other artist who has been in residence at the Institute was T.S. Eliot, in 1948.) During the first three of this seven years at the Institute, Taub performed the complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas in nine programs. This transversal of the Sonatas was mirrored by performances on the Music for Galway series in Ireland and more recently at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan. An additional series is currently in progress at Merkin Hall in New York City. Sonatas from each concert were aired on National Public Radio's syndicated arts program Performance Today, which has continued to broadcast concerts featuring Robert Taub.
Taub has recorded the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas for VOX. He has also recorded the Sonatas of Scriabin and works of Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, and Babbitt for Harmonia Mundi, several of which have been selected as "critic's favorites" by Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gramophone, Ovation, and Fanfare.
Taub's repertoire embraces music from the Baroque era to the present day, and he has been chosen by a number of prominent contemporary composers to premiere their music. In January 1990, he gave the premiere of Mel Powell's Two Piano Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and was released on the Harmonia Mundi label. He gave the premiere of Emblems, a major solo work by Milton Babbitt at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall with further performances in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Berlin. Between these two premieres he played the Persichetti Piano Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, recorded by the New World label. Also for New World, Taub made the first recording of Roger Sessions' Piano Concerto (1956) with Paul Dunkel and the Westchester Philharmonic.
His other important Babbitt premieres included Preludes, Interludes, and Postlude, in 1992; the Piano Quartet in 1996, commissioned by the Library of Congress and premiered at the Kennedy Center; and Piano Concerto No. 2 which was commissioned for Robert Taub and James Levine by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and premiered in November 1998 with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
In 1998-99, as featured soloist in the Asian Piano Festival, Taub performed in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, and Malaysia. He also performed solo concerts in Los Angeles, Cleveland, and with the Utah Symphony. 1999-2000 season highlights included Beethoven Sonata concerts in Cleveland, San Jose, and at Merkin Hall and the Wharton Performing Arts Center. Taub also performed a solo recital at the Library of Congress. In addition, he gave a series of concerts at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, which included Schubert's Winterreise and chamber music of Bartok and Brahms. In June 2000, Taub performed Stravinsky's 1947 version of Petrouschka with James Levine and the Munich Philharmonic, with three concerts in Munich and five on tour in Germany and Italy. This resulted in an immediate reengagement for February 2002, when he performed the Roger Sessions Concerto.
In spring 2001, Taub gave recitals in Boston and Saratoga in addition to continuing Beethoven Sonata cycles at the Merkin Concert Hall and Moravian College. Other performances took him to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Cleveland, after which he played concerti of Bach and Stravinsky with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in addition to his appearances with the Munich Philharmonic under James Levine. In October of 2002 he joined Maestro Levine, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and principals of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire in Carnegie Hall.
Taub was recently named Visiting Professor at London's Kingston University, a 5-year appointment, during which he will complete a Beethoven sonata cycle and perform programs of contemporary music.
Taub is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton where he was a University Scholar. As a Danforth Fellow he completed his doctoral degree at The Juilliard School where he also received the highest award in piano. His principal teacher was Jacob Lateiner. From 1990 to 1992, Taub served as Blodgett Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University, an appointment that entailed a week of performances and masterclasses four times during each academic year. In 1993, he led the chamber music program at Princeton University, and the following year he was a guest lecturer for the doctoral program at Rutgers. He has led music forums at Oxford University, Cambridge University, and The Juilliard School. His book, Playing the Beethoven Piano Sonatas, was issued worldwide in the spring of 2002 by Amadeus Press.