ROBERT L BALDWIN portrait
  • Director of Orchestras, School Of Music
  • Director of Graduate Studies-School of Music, School Of Music
  • Professor, School Of Music

Current Courses

Fall 2020

  • MUSC 445-001
    Utah Philharmonia
  • MUSC 544-001
    Univ Campus Symphony
  • MUSC 4415-003
    Univ/Comm Ensemble
  • MUSC 4430-005
    Chamber Music
  • MUSC 4440-001
    Univ Campus Symphony
    Location: DGH 272 (DGH 272)
  • MUSC 4445-001
    Utah Philharmonia
    Location: DGH 272 (DGH 272), DGH 272 (DGH 272)
  • MUSC 6180-001
    Adv Lessons Major 1
  • MUSC 6181-001
    Secondary Lessons Maj I
  • MUSC 6190-001
    Adv Lessons Major 3
  • MUSC 6191-001
    Secondary Lesson Maj
  • MUSC 6415-003
    Univ/Comm Ensemble
  • MUSC 6430-005
    Chamber Music Master
  • MUSC 6434-001
    Chamber Orchestra-Grad
  • MUSC 6440-001
    Univ Campus Symphony
  • MUSC 6445-001
    UT Philharmonia Masters
  • MUSC 6870-001
    Instrumental Lit Sem
  • MUSC 6976-001
    Composition Project
  • MUSC 7190-001
    Doctoral Private Lesson
  • MUSC 7191-001
    Doc Secondary Lessons
  • MUSC 7430-005
    Chamber Music Doc
  • MUSC 7445-001
    UT Philharmonica Doc
    Location: DGH 272 (DGH 272), DGH 272 (DGH 272)
  • MUSC 7870-001
    Instrument Lit Sem Doc
  • MUSC 7990-003
    Cont Reg PhD

Spring 2020

Professional Organizations

  • Utah Cultural Alliance. 01/01/2018 - 12/31/2018. Position : Member.
  • Utah Viola Society. 10/10/2015 - present. Position : Member.
  • College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA). 01/01/2010 - present. Position : Member-Conference Host for 2016 National Conference.
  • Conductors Guild. 01/01/1997 - present. Position : Member.
  • National Association for Music Education. 01/01/1992 - present. Position : Member.
  • American String Teachers Association. 01/01/1990 - present. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

“Time is like a superglue, keeping our story in order as we navigate the world around us”—Maurizio Benazzo

As a conductor and teacher of conducting, my main responsibility is one of discovering, sharing and expressing the information found in a score of music.  It is my goal to do this and point the way for students to find this, not by telling, but by showing ways in which they may find it within themselves to express music, whether in great swaths of sound, or within the intonation of separate intervals.  But the bulk of my work and teaching regards understanding the flow of music through rhythm, tempo, and relationships that at first may seem unconnected.

Certainly, these are things that are very important to my craft as a conductor.  Tempo control, metric organization and rhythmic precision are all something that is a great responsibility for all of us–the conductor, soloist, and orchestra.  But behind all my admonishments to “watch the stick,” “play the subdivision correctly,” and  “don’t rush (or drag),” there is a deeper truth to the importance of flow and rhythm in the music.

Rhythm and tempo are indeed two of the critical elements that hold a composition together.  Unfortunately, we musicians often learn these as dry subjects.  We learn to “play correctly.”  Indeed, we must do this if there is any hope of tight ensemble.  Understanding the correct subdivision and how it fits into the whole is tantamount to understanding a piece of music.  That is only the beginning, though.

Few musicians continue the journey into why the music is written as it is.  Why does a pickup note energize the melody?  Why does a rhythm pervade the piece?  Why does the dotted “8th-16th” rhythm feel differently for one piece over another?  This needs to be asked from the first time a musician approaches a piece.  But also, it should be a question to be asked when the music is not going as smoothly as it should.  Us musicians, we get stuck on “notes.”  (Pitches, tone, melodies and the like).  What we forget is that without the rhythm (which in my opinion includes meter and tempo), the music may bear little resemblance to what the composer intended. And the key to understanding (and fixing) is often found there, in the lifeblood of music—TIME.

So this is why I insist on understanding rhythm and also relaying certain information to the orchestra through gestures and sometimes words.  The way a rhythm is played, the pace at which a tempo flows, and the natural stresses of metric organization all lead towards understanding and transmission of the music within the notes.  In turn, this leads to an informed and effective performance of the music.  If students understand this, they are well on their way to understanding how to present and express great works of art from the stage, no matter the venure.

This edited entry first appeared as an entry in my blog, Before the Downbeat on April 17, 2012.  http://beforethedownbeat.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/the-pit-and-the-pendulum-part-1/

 

 

Courses I Teach

  • MUSC 3385 - Ensemble Conducting
    Ensemble Conducting-Undergraduate
  • MUSC 4440. 6440 - University Campus Symphony
    Campus-wide Orchestra
  • MUSC 4445, 6445, 7445 - Utah Philharmonia
    Orchestra
  • MUSC 6190, 7190 - Private Lessons
    Private Conducting Lessons
  • MUSC 6850, 7850 - Conducting Seminar
    Graduate Conducting Seminar
  • MUSC 6870. 7870 - Seminar in Orchestral Literature and Resources
    Graduate Seminar

Teaching Projects

  • Collaborative Residency with Wuhan University. Project Lead: Robert Baldwin. School of Music, College of Fine Arts 09/12/2019 - 09/19/2019. Total Budget: $23,000.00.
  • Monika Jalili and Ensemble Residency. Project Lead: Robert Baldwin. Collaborators: Nathan Devir, Michael Sammons, Cathryn Clayton. University Teaching Committee 08/09/2018 - 12/06/2018. Total Budget: $13,180.00.

Current Students

  • Jong-hun Bae, Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.), Project Type: Project. Role: Chair.