• Music

  • Catherine Robbin

  • Professor Emeritus

  • Classical Vocal Performance

BIOGRAPHY

One of Canada’s best known mezzo-sopranos, Catherine Robbin earned an international reputation during her 30-year career as a performing and recording artist. Noted especially for her interpretation of Baroque and Romantic repertoire, she has appeared with leading conductors and orchestras in recital, concert and opera performances across Canada, the United States, Britain and Europe. Her discography features more than 30 CDs ranging from Vivaldi and Pergolesi cantatas, the songs of C.P.E. Bach and the masses of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, to Mozart and Handel operas and songs of Schumann, Mahler, Duparc and Ravel, on labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, Teldec, CBC, Marquis and Decca. Her honours include a Juno Award, Gramophone Record of the Year, Grand Prix de Disque and a Grammy nomination.

Professor Robbin is much sought after to adjudicate and conduct masterclasses in art song and lieder performance at festivals and music schools in Canada and the U.S. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and serves as president of the Art Song Foundation of Canada, an organization that supports Canadian singers and collaborative pianists participating in art song study programs worldwide.

Professor Robbin joined the faculty in York University’s Department of Music in 2002 and retired from her public performance career the following year to dedicate herself full-time to teaching. She directs York’s classical vocal performance program.

In recognition of her outstanding accomplishments as a singer of international repute and as a mentor for rising young artists, Catherine Robbin was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012.

Publications

Recordings

Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch – Italian Songbook 
Daniel Lichti, bass-baritone; Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano; Leslie De’Ath, piano
Analekta AN29956 (2010)

Duparc: L’Invitation au Voyage: The complete melodies of Henri Duparc
Catherine Robbin, mezzo soprano and Gerald Finley, baritone, Stephen Ralls, piano. CBC Records MVCD1148 (2002)

Ravel: Melodies *Cinq Melodies Populaires Grecques *Chants Populaires *Deux Melodies Hebraiques *Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarme *Chansons Madecasses *Sheherazade
Andre Laplante, piano, Nora Shulman, flute, Joachin Valdepenas, clarinet, et al. CBC Records VCD1128 (2001)

The Aldeburgh Connection: Brahms * Schumann * Greer – Liebeslieder & Folk Songs
The Aldeburgh Connection, with Kathleen Brett, soprano, Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano, Benjamin Butterfield, tenor and Russell Braun, baritone. CBC Records MVCD 1077 (1995)

Handel: Lucretia * Scarlatti: Salve Regina * Vivaldi: Nisi Dominus
Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano, with Thirteen Strings, Brian Law conducting. Marquis Classics ERAD 129 (1995)

Pergolesi: Stabat Mater * Vivaldi: Motet In Furore giustissimae irae and Stabat Mater
Bernard Labadie conducting Les Violons du Roy with Dorothea Roschmann, soprano, Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano. Dorian DOR-90196 (1994)

Schumann: Liederkreise
Liederkreise Op.39, Frauenliebe und Leben Op.42 and Gedichte der Koenigen Maria Stuart Op.135 Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano; Michael McMahon, piano.CBC MVCD 1050 (1992)

Mahler: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Funf Ruckertlieder, Kindertotenlieder
Catherine Robbin, mezzo-soprano; the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Raffi Armenian conducting. CBC SMCD5098 (1991)

Handel: Floridante
Catherine Robbin, Linda Maguire, Nancy Argenta, Ingrid Attrot and Mel Braun; Alan Curtis conducting the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. CBC SMCD5110 (1991)

Catherine Robbin
Works by Purcell, Schubert, Brahms, Honegger, Ridout et al. With Michael McMahon, piano. Marquis Records ERAD113 (1985)

Berlioz: Beatrice et Benedict
John Eliot Gardner conducting L’Orchestre de l’Opera de Lyon. Erato/MusiFrance 2292-45773-2

Berlioz: Melodies
John Eliot Gardner conducting L’Orchestre de l’Opera de Lyon. Erato/MusiFrance 2292-45517

Beethoven: Mass in C Major
John Eliot Gardner conducting l’Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir. DG Archiv 435 391-2

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
John Eliot Gardner conducting the Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists. DG Archiv 429 779

Beethoven: Symphony No.9
Christopher Hogwood conducting the Academy of Ancient Music. Decca 425517-2

Handel: Belshazzar
Trevor Pinnock conducting the English Concert. DG Archiv 431793-2

Handel: Messiah
John Eliot Gardner conducting The English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir. Philips 411 041

Handel: Messiah
Martin Pearlman conducting the Boston Baroque. Telarc 2CD-80322

Handel: Orlando
Christopher Hogwood conducting The Academy of Ancient Music. L’Oiseau-Lyre 430845-2

Haydn: Stabat Mater, Missa Sancti Nicolai
Trevor Pinnock conducting The English Concert and Orchestra. DG Archiv 437807-2

Haydn: Theresienmesse
Trevor Pinnock conducting The English Concert. Deutsche Gramophon Archiv 429733-2

Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito
John Eliot Gardner conducting The English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir. DG Archiv 431 802-2

Mozart: Coronation Mass
Christopher Hogwood conducting the Academy of Ancient Music. Decca

Mozart: Requiem, K.626
Roger Norrington conducting the London Classical Players. EMI CDC7 54525-2

Sweet Was the Song
Christmas music of John Attey, Healey Willan, Vaughan Williams. Jon Washburn conducting the Vancouver Chamber Choir. Marquis Records ERA107

Passion and Piety
Vocal Music of Haydn, C. P. E. Bach, Beethoven and Schubert. With Paul Nicholson, fortepiano. Marquis Classics ERAD 19

Awards

Honours & Awards

1993 Juno Award – Tafelmusik: Floridante: Handel, Alan Curtis
1992 Grammy Award Nomination – Messiah: Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman
Grand Prix du Disque – Beatrice et Benedict: Lyon Opera Orchestra, John Nelson
1990 Gramophone Record of the Year (Gramophone magazine) – Beethoven: Missa Solemnis, Deutsche Grammophon, John Eliot Gardiner
1985 Juno Award Nomination – Marquis Records: Catherine Robbin Recital
1979 Benson & Hedges Gold Award (Aldeburgh, England) – First Prize
1978 Silver Medal – Concours International de Geneve
Premier Prix – Melodies Francaises – Concours International de Chant de Paris

Music

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Catherine Robbin

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