Robert Hart Baker
Robert Hart Baker has been the conductor of the St. Louis Philharmonic since 1982. He has served as principal guest conductor with the Asheville Lyric Opera Company since 2004. He is Music Director Laureate of the Harrisburg Choral Society & Orchestra and the York Symphony Orchestra & Chorus in Pennsylvania, and is conductor laureate of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. He was recently named Music Director & Conductor of the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale in Illinois, and National Arts Associate of the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.
His broad repertory of classical symphonic, opera, choral and ballet scores are complemented by his skills as a Pops conductor, and he has received critical praise on the podium here and abroad in all genres. His work the York Symphony Association has earned two awards from the League of American Orchestras (Student Song Contest in 2003 and Saturday Morning Symphony in 2005). His DVD of the St. Louis Philharmonic Holiday Spectacular won the national Telly Award in 2004 for best classical local cable TV production. In December 2007, his holiŽday video with the Kirkwood Children's Chorale was in the finals of NBC's nationally-televised competition Clash Of The Choirs. His latest DVD with the same forces is "2015 Holiday Pops Concert". His Blu-ray video recordŽing with the St. Louis Philharmonic "Mario Frangoulis & Friends" was released in November 2012. He is currently on the faculty of Lindenwood University as Instructor of Oboe. His performance as oboist of the Bach Concerto for Violin and Oboe with violin soloist Odin Rathnam and the York Symphony is on YouTube. He is also Conductor of the Cadenza Orchestra as part of the St. Charles County Youth Orchestra staff, and serves as Artistic Consultant to artist management firm Price Rubin and Partners in Tulsa.
At the 10th anniversary concert of the Asheville Lyric Opera, he had the pleasŽure of conducting arias with a stellar cast of singers from the Metropolitan Opera, including soprano Angela Brown, tenor Tonio Di Paolo, and bariŽtone Sherrill Milnes. He made his debut in 2010 with the Boston Pops as part of its 125th anniversary celebration, with violin soloist Lynn Chang. He has appeared as an opera conductor with the Spoleto Festival, Brevard Music Center, Connecticut, and Cullowhee Festival opera companies. At Spoleto, he made his European opera debut conŽducting Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, and served as an assisŽtant conductor to Gian Carlo Menotti. Robert was the founding Music Director of the Connecticut Philharmonic Orchestra at age 22, receiving critical acclaim for its debut in Boston Symphony Hall.
He has compact disc and DVD releases on several record labels, including Denon, Ernest Bloch Society, and Sonari. His arrangement of the Borodin Nocturne for
String Orchestra with the English Chamber Orchestra is a best-seller on Vanguard. He is married to flutist Barbra Duvall Baker.
The busy musical couple has performed chamber music together at profesŽsional music festivals in St. Petersburg Russia, Cooperstown,
NY and White Plains, NY (Performers of Westchester Series).