With his appointment in 2010 as Organist of the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Versailles, Jean-Baptiste Robin was secured a place in a long line of royal organists, such as Francois Couperin, Louis Marchand, Louis-Claude Daquin, and Claude Balbastre, as court musician
of that world-renowned building. Widely regarded as one of the most prominent and accomplished French organists and composers of his generation, Jean-Baptiste Robin also serves as Professor of Organ at the Conservatoire a Rayonnement Regional in Versailles. From 2000-2010, he was Organist of Poitiers Cathedral, where he presided over the cathedral's famous Clicquot organ.
In addition to his well-known performances of classic and romantic French organ repertoire, he is also considered one of the great performers of the American Symphonic organ repertoire and is widely admired for his transcriptions and kaleidoscopic registrations, as evidenced in his CD The American Symphonic Organ recorded on the E.M. Skinner organ at the Cincinnati Museum Center's Union Terminal (Brilliant Classics label). His frequent performance trips to the United States have yielded recitals in nearly half of the fifty states, including those at Woolsey Hall at Yale University, the Cathedral of St. Paul in Minneapolis, MN, St. James Cathedral in Seattle, and the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, among many others. He was as a featured performer at the 2010 national convention of the American Guild of Organists held in Washington DC. In 2017 he will perform solo recitals at the Disney Hall in Los Angeles and in Longwood Gardens.
In Europe, he has been a featured recitalist at well-known international organ festivals in Toulouse, Haarlem, Freiberg (Silbermann Festival), Bonn-Beuel, Monaco, Porto, and in concert series in Dresden, Cologne, Geneva, Madrid, Timisoara, Coblenz, Schramberg, Zagreb and Breda, among many others. He has also performed at the Sejong Cultural Center in Seoul, Korea, the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Musashino in Tokyo, Japan and Haifa, Israël. In France he was invited in famous churches like Notre Dame, Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Eustache in Paris.
As a master teacher, he was a distinguished artist-in-residence at Yale University and at the International Summer Academy for Organists in Haarlem (Holland), has taught numerous master classes for the American Guild of Organists, the Korean Guild of Organists, and numerous universities and conservatories in the U.S.: Washington University (Seattle), Lawrence University (Wisconsin), and at Cincinnati College of Music and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Ohio). Every two years he teaches for the Royaumont-Versailles Seminar and each year for the Poitiers Summer Academy.
He has composed over forty works ranging from those for solo instruments to symphony orchestra and his works have been performed by various ensembles such as the Orchestre National de France, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Orchestre des Pays de Savoie, the Orchestre d'Auvergne, the Orchestre Régional de Normandie, the Maitrise de Notre-Dame de Paris, the Maîtrise de Radio France and the Ensemble intercontemporain under the batons of directors Pierre Boulez, Laurent Petitgirard and Jean Deroyer among others. Renown performers have plaid his music around the world : the trumpetists Romain Leleu and David Guerrier, the cellists François Salque and Xavier Phillips and organists Frédéric Champion, François Espinasse and Vincent Warnier. A new CD of his compositions with organ was released last March 2017 (Brillant Classics label), including an organ concerto with string orchestra and timpani.
Jean-Baptiste Robin studied at the National Superior Conservatory of Music in Paris, winning seven Premier Prix and two postgraduate diplomas in theory and organ performance. He studied the organ with Marie-Claire Alain, Olivier Latry, Michel Bouvard, and Louis Robilliard, and composition with George Benjamin at King's College, London.
He has recorded the complete works of Jehan Alain (Brilliant Classics label), Felix Mendelssohn (Triton label), Louis Marchand (Triton label), and Francois Couperin (Naxos label), as well as his own compositions (Naxos label). These recordings have been consistently praised by music critics and have won numerous prizes in France and England, including several Golden Diapason, the Editor's Choice by Grammophon, and the Charles Cros Academy.
Jean Baptiste Robin is represented exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.
« Jean-Baptiste Robin, performer and composer (...) the Mechanic Fantasy of this very refine neoclassical composer of today reveals an evocative force extremely personal. »
Paul de Louit, Diapason (May 2017)
« (...) The inspiration of his works is immediately perceptible by the listener, who can then make his own an emotion that touches very deeply. One remains captivated by the climates, like those of Jehan Alain, whom the author knows well, and from which he draws inspiration for his benefit. The ends of pieces are, in this way, are magical, sometimes suspended or instantly interrupted. »
Frédéric Munoz, Resmusica - The Recording of the mont May 2017
« Robin proves himself to be a master orchestrator in the transcriptions of piano works. Vivid colors abound in symphonic-inspired transcriptions of Debussy, Albeniz, and Bartok. His approach is also effective in Liszt's Prelude and Fugue; his kaleidoscopic registrational color is neither excessive nor distracting, but is rather symphonic in scope and dramatically engaging. Robin's artistry is based on his dramatically incisive approach to rhythm, an expansive and lyrical approach to phrasing, and an approach to registration based on symphonic color and grandeur. »
Michael Unger, American Record Guide (May/June 2015)
« This is big-organ performance at its most expressive and tasteful, a sonic punch that raises goosebumps. »
John Terauds, Musical Toronto (january, 2014)
« His own composition is a significant addition to the cosmic end of the scale of organ compositions. Thrilling, driving, demandung, amusingf, and energetic-this music has to be heard to be believed. Astounding ! Thank you, Jean-Baptiste ! »
Jonathan Dimmock, The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians in USA (June 2014)
« Like Virgil Fox, Robin wants to popularize the organ by performing music on it that might already be familiar in other versions, and that makes an immediate impression. Robin is respectful of the music. He does nothing silly or tasteless with it.
He is an imaginative player, with a flair for drama, but he doesn't allow the music to turn into a vehicle for his ego. »
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine (May 2014)
« Robin studied Alain's complete organ works in detail with Marie-Claire; thus he has direct in-depth knowledge and experience that inform his performances. He possesses abundant technical facility in addition to expressive, poetic musicality and imagination, all of which are necessary to successfully perform this music.
Each generation brings new, fresh ideas to the standard repertoire, which much of Alain's music has become. These exciting recordings by Jean-Baptiste Robin are arguably the finest of the current generation. »
James Hildreth, The American Organist (may 2013)
« I have never heard a performance of the Trois Danses [by Jehan Alain] to equal Robin's : by turns somber, poetic, dramatic and even frenzied, it makes this suite that so often sounds awkward come alive as a unique masterpiece. »
Michael Fox, The Diapason (december 2012)