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McNeil Robinson

McNeil RobinsonMcNEIL ROBINSON (1943 – 2015), born in Birmingham, Alabama, was a graduate of the Juilliard School and the University of Salamanca in Spain. As a concert organist, he was praised by the international press as one of America’s leading virtuosos. His widely noted prowess as an improviser propelled him into the rarefied heights of the organist’s art achieved by only a few of the European all-time greats.

One of the most prominent musicians in New York City, Mr. Robinson was organist and choirmaster at New York City’s Park Avenue Synagogue from 1965, an appointment advised by the late Dr. Jack Gottlieb and Leonard Bernstein, until 2012. He also served as music director at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church (NYC) starting in 2007. From 1984 through 2007, he was music director and organist for Park Avenue Christian Church. Prior to his appointment at Park Avenue Christian, Mr. Robinson led a legendary music program for the Church of St. Mary the Virgin for two decades. Concurrently, he was director of music for the Church of the Holy Family, the parish church of the United Nations (1967 – 1978) and Trinity Church Wall Street (1970 – 1976).

As a composer, Mr. Robinson was the recipient of numerous prestigious commissions, including those from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the American Guild of Organists, the Group for Contemporary Music, Meet the Composer, Musica Sacra, Park Avenue Synagogue, the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, the Church of the Holy Family, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the Trinity Institute (Trinity Church Wall Street), and by numerous American churches and individuals throughout the United States. His works have been performed in major fine arts centers in America and abroad, including New York’s Lincoln Center, and on network radio. Mr. Robinson’s compositions are performed regularly in synagogues and churches throughout the United States.

Mr. Robinson maintained an international career as an organ recitalist. He performed in the U.S., in Europe and in Asia; he also was a featured performer at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. He was active as a conductor and recorded for a number of commercial record labels, including Decca and Musical Heritage Society.

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