Robert Brooks Carlson

Tori Tedeschi Adams, photographer

Originally from central Virginia, Robert Brooks Carlson is an emerging artist committed to interpersonal and community engagement through solo and collaborative performance. Currently, Robert studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM) with the internationally acclaimed pianist Soyeon Kate Lee.

Robert has performed in Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and throughout the United States. He has participated in the Saarburg and Bowdoin International Chamber Music Festivals, Art of the Piano in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Gijón International Piano Festival. Robert has also appeared in masterclasses with renowned artists such as Emanuel Ax, Ran Dank, Jeremy Denk, Julian Martin, Robert McDonald, Awadagin Pratt, Boris Slutsky, and Wei Yi Yang. Recently, Robert completed fellowships at the Gilmore Festival and PianoFest in the Hamptons during the summer of 2022.

With the Hear Us Hear Them choir ensemble, 2021
With the Rhine Trio – Kristine Clair Uchi Galano, violin and Juneho Josh Kim, Cello, 2022

As a performer, much of Robert’s work takes aim at issues that exist outside the concert hall, focusing on various social topics such as racial/gender inequity or mental health awareness. This season (2022-2023), Robert is presenting programs that concern the pressing youth mental health crisis in the United States. For more information, examples of this work will be shared on his blog throughout the year. Additionally, Robert has won numerous awards in recent years, including second prize in the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artists Competition and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Chamber Music Competition. Previous notable collaborative and concert engagements have included the James Madison University Wind Symphony and the Rapidan Orchestra (Orange, Virginia) as soloist, as well as the James Madison University Opera Theatre and Treble Chamber Choir.

A devoted collaborative and chamber musician, Robert proudly served as the collaborative artist for Hear Us Hear Them, a choir based in Cincinnati with the mission to highlight works by underrepresented and marginalized composers, during its 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons. Additionally, Robert is a member of the Rhine Piano Trio, along with violinist Kristine Clair Uchi Galano and cellist Juneho Josh Kim. While Robert has primarily coached with acclaimed violinist Kristin Lee, previous coaches have included Masumi Per Rostad, Ian Swensen, and Dror Biran.

Prior to his studies with Soyeon Kate Lee, Robert received his Bachelor’s of Music degree from James Madison University magna cum laude with Paulo Steinberg, along with minors in Mathematics and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. Previous teacher’s also include Emily Yap Chua and Nicholas Ross in Lynchburg, Virginia. Besides piano, Robert enjoys creative and academic writing, baking, coffee, and relaxing with his cat, Olive (pictured below).

Some mediocre home-brewed espresso, 2022
Olive, 2022
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