Robert Lombardo is the son of Sicilian immigrants. He received his BM & MM in composition from the Hartt School of Music and was awarded the PhD from the State University of Iowa. His principal composition teacher was Arnold Franchetti. Lombardo is a prolific composer who has written more than 200 works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra, as well as four chamber operas and a number of song cycles. His wife Kathleen has written texts for several of his compositions. Among them: Johnny Sequel (a companion opera to Gianni Schicchi), Against Forgetting, a cantata dedicated to the Holocaust children and Aria Variata –a solo cantata for mezzo soprano and string orchestra recorded by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, directed by Paul Freeman. The work has been issued on an Albany Records CD. Six works of his featuring the mandolin and performed by the mandolinist, Dimitris Marinos, including a concerto conducted by Cliff Colnot, is also on the Albany label. Bernard Jacobson in Fanfare Magazine writes: “…Fastidious in its emotional precision and intensity, and often arresting for the sensuous beauty it achieves, Lombardo’s style is an intriguing amalgam of fairly comprehensive chromaticism with strong tonal influences from his Sicilian ancestry.” He has recently completed Last Letters Home for mezzo soprano, piano and cello. He also has two other versions of this work, for mezzo soprano, string orchestra & percussion and mezzo soprano and string quartet. Other recent works include: Concertino for piano and chamber ensemble, Snapshots & Reflections for string quartet, Largo Doloroso for string orchestra, Fantasy Variations #7&8 for Solo flute and solo viola respectively, Largo for string trio and Piccolo Concertino for mandolin & mandolin orchestra.
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Lombardo has garnered many honors for his compositions. Among them: a Guggenheim Fellowship, commissions form the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Fromm Foundation, and Chicago radio stations WNIB and WFMT. He is the recipient of grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His compositions have been performed by numerous ensembles including the Chicago, Cincinnati and Memphis Symphony orchestras, the Fine Arts Quartet, the Chicago String Ensemble, CUBE, Ars Viva, the Pacifica Quartet, the Hilversum Radio Kamerorkest in the Netherlands, and St. Christopher’s Chamber Orchestra in Lithuania. Lombardo holds the title of Professor Emeritus from Roosevelt University where he was Professor of Theory & Composition and Composer-in-residence from 1965 until 1999. He and his wife Kathleen have two children, Adreana and Rosalia.
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