Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Upcoming Events

See Robert Greenberg in person at these upcoming events:

12.02.2017
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 1

St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Quartet No. 1 in C Major, Op. 49
Quartet No. 2, in A Major, Op. 68

Tickets And Information
12.09.2017
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 1

St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73
Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83

Tickets And Information
12.16.2017
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 1

St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Quartet No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 92
Quartet No. 6 in G Major, Op. 101

Tickets And Information
01.13.2018
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 1

St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57
Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108
with Roger Woodward, piano

Tickets And Information
01.20.2018
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 2

Herbst Theatre, Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 67
Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110
with Roger Woodward, piano

Tickets And Information
02.03.2018
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 2

Herbst Theatre, Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Quartet No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 117
Quartet No. 10 in A-flat Major, Op. 118

Tickets And Information
02.17.2018
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 2

Herbst Theatre, Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 122
Quartet No. 12 in D-flat Major, Op. 133

Tickets And Information
02.24.2018
12:10pm

One Day University – Minneapolis

Guthrie Theater 818 S 2nd St Minneapolis, MN 55415

One Day University: 5000 Years of History (Minneapolis, MN)

Music as a Mirror of History: 300 Years in 60 Minutes
Robert Greenberg / UC Berkeley / SF Performances

This presentation examines Western music as an artistic phenomenon that mirrors the social, political, spiritual and economic realities of its time. As such, the ongoing changes in musical style evident in Western music during the last millennia are a function of large-scale societal change and are not due to any particular composer’s “creative muse.” Starting with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and the intellectual and spiritual climate of the High Baroque (ca. 1720), this program will observe the changes wrought by Enlightenment society on the music of the Classical Era (ca. 1780) as manifested in the work of Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart. This class will observe the impact of the Age of Revolution and Napoleon through a lens provided by the radical and experimental music of Ludwig van Beethoven (ca. 1810).

Other topics to be explored include the nature and conception of “the composer”, Beethoven’s gastro-intestinal problems (not pretty, but relevant), architecture and landscape design in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the applicability of the concept of “music as a mirror” to American popular music of the 1950s and 1960s.

Tickets And Information
03.04.2018
2:00pm

Phoenix Symphony: Tchaikovsky and Mozart Part One

The Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050

Experience the first of a three-part series exploring the life and works of Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Join Robert M. Greenberg, an American composer, pianist, and musicologist as he leads these entertaining and engaging lectures to supplement The Phoenix Symphony Chamber Music Series. These intimate chats at the Musical Instrument Museum will leave you with a greater understanding of these two classical masters and the dynamic stories behind the music.

Tickets And Information
03.18.2018
2:00pm

Phoenix Symphony: Tchaikovsky and Mozart Part Two

The Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050

Don’t miss the second installment of this three-part series exploring the life and works of Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Join Robert M. Greenberg, an American composer, pianist, and musicologist as he leads these entertaining and engaging lectures to supplement The Phoenix Symphony Chamber Music Series. These intimate chats at the Musical Instrument Museum will leave you with a greater understanding of these two classical masters and the dynamic stories behind the music.

Tickets And Information
04.07.2018
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 2

Herbst Theatre, Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Quartet No. 13 in B-flat minor, Op. 138
Quartet No. 14 in F-sharp Major, Op. 142

Tickets And Information
04.22.2018
2:00pm

Phoenix Symphony: Tchaikovsky and Mozart Part Three

The Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050

Be there for the final installment of this three-part series of exploration and conversation around the life and works of Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Join Robert M. Greenberg, an American composer, pianist, and musicologist as he leads these entertaining and engaging lectures to supplement The Phoenix Symphony Chamber Music Series. These intimate chats at the Musical Instrument Museum will leave you with a greater understanding of these two classical masters and the dynamic stories behind the music.

Tickets And Information
05.19.2018
10:00am

Shostakovich String Quartets: Part 2

Herbst Theatre, Veterans Building 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA

For over 20 years, thousands of audience members from the Bay Area and beyond have savored Saturday-morning musical conversations, exploring composers and concepts with the Alexander String Quartet and San Francisco Performances Music Historian-in-Residence Robert Greenberg. The series combines complete performances of string quartets with Greenberg’s witty profound takes on these works, their creators and their place in history and the hearts of music lovers.

The musical career of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) mirrored exactly the rise and history of the Soviet Union from 1917–1975. He entered the Petrograd Conservatory at the very end of the Tsarist era; he witnessed the Revolution and began his career during Lenin’s rule; he was nearly purged twice by Stalin; he flourished under Khrushchev and died while Brezhnev was in power. Shostakovich was a survivor and a great composer, and his fear and self-loathing, his courage and experience found their way into his music. As such, Shostakovich is not just the most important composer of string quartets and symphonies from the 1920s to the 1970s; even more, he and his music stand as witnesses to the rise and failures of the Soviet Union, one of the defining events of the twentieth century.

Join us for the first season of a two-season exploration of Shostakovich’s string quartets and chamber works. In these days of resurgent Russian despotism, Shostakovich’s life, experience, and music offer an extraordinary cautionary tale.

PROGRAM:
Quartet No. 15 in E-flat minor, Op. 144
Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 147
with Roger Woodward, piano

Tickets And Information