Rob Power is an active chamber musician, soloist, improviser, orchestral player, composer, teacher, and instrument builder. He has performed with new music ensembles, folk artists, improv groups, world music ensembles, and over twenty Canadian orchestras. Along with performances in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the United States, he has appeared at festivals across Canada from Whitehorse to St. John’s. Rob has collaborated closely with many world renowned musicians, including Rivka Golani, Trichy Sankaran, Russell Hartenberger, Mika Yoshida, Beverley Johnston, Mark Fewer, Sal Fererras and John Wyre. Rob is a regular participant in Newfoundland’s Sound Symposium, and his playing can be heard on dozens of CD recordings.
As a soloist, he has performed percussion concerti by Alan Bell, Dave Maric, Clark Ross, Alison Cameron, Stefan Solyom, and Gregory Hawco. As a chamber musician he has appeared in world premieres by some of Canada’s best known composers, including R. Murray Schafer, James Harley, Alice Ho, Jan Jarvlepp, Christos Hatzis, Andrew Staniland, Stephen Hatfield, Clifford Crawley, Clark Ross, Bill Brennan, and John Wyre.
An active composer, Rob’s compositions include both contemporary classical works and outdoor environmental pieces. Rob was awarded the OZ-FM award for excellence and imagination in sound at the 2002 Provincial Drama Festival in St. John's, for composing the soundtrack for the Beothuck Street Players' production of Drink the Mercury. In 2006 he was invited to Patras, Greece to compose a Harbour Symphony for the European City of Culture celebrations, and that same year his percussion trio Untouchable was the first prize winner in the Millennium Arts Society Composition Competition. One of his most recent works, Tunnel Mountain, was a prize winner at the 2013 Torq Percussion Seminar Composition Competition, and won an ECMA for Classical Composition of the Year, following the release of his album of original percussion music, Touch. The same recording was also named MusicNL’s Classical Recording of the Year.
Rob holds a Bachelor's degree in performance from the MUN School of Music, where he studied with Don Wherry, and a Masters degree from McGill University, where his teachers were Pierre Beluse and D'Arcy Phillip Gray. He has also studied with Alexander Lepak of the Hartford Symphony, and with Charles Fullbrook at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England.
In 2009 Rob was awarded the NL Arts Council's Arts in Education Award, and in 2011 he was given the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra Players Award. In 2015, Rob was nominated for the NL Arts Council’s Artist of the Year.
Currently, Rob is an Associate Professor of percussion at the MUN School of Music, where he maintains a vibrant studio of talented percussionists, and directs the renowned Scruncheons Percussion Ensemble. He is on the Artistic Committee of the Sound Symposium, and is the principal percussionist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Rob performs regularly in a wide variety of musical collaborations, including the improvisational groups Spanner and Roarschack. An avid builder of new and unusual percussion instruments, Rob’s recent constructions include the quarter-tone mirrorphone and the glass marimba. More information about Rob’s recordings, compositions, performances, and homemade instruments can be found at www.robpower.ca.