Professor of Music Theory, joins the Schulich School of Music after several years on faculty at the Eastman School of Music. He completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University and his scholarly interests include the music of György Ligeti, French ‘spectralist’ composters Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail, transformational theory and the history of music theory. His doctoral dissertation ‘Just Intervals and Tone Representation in Contemporary Music,” explored how research on the psychology of aural perception can inform the analysis of music by composers as varied as Debussy and La Monte Young. Other recent projects include a study of Hans Zender’s recent microtonal music (published in Perspectives of New Music), an article on atonal theory for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, a chapter on extended just intonation for the forthcoming book Théorie et composition musicales au vingtième siècle, and editing a special issue of Contemporary Music Review on the American composer James Tenney.
"For a composer and theorist interested in contemporary music, Montreal is an exciting city to work in, with one of the most dynamic new music cultures in the world. McGill's combination of a strong performance conservatory and an academic research department gives me the opportunity to teach contemporary musical techniques to both the performers who be premiering new works, and also to work with scholars and composers exploring innovative musical languages.”
In addition to his theoretical work, Robert is an active composer with recent compositions having been performed by White Rabbit, cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, Stephen Drury and the Callithumpian Consort.