To Love and Be Loved by Music with Robert Thies
The life of Robert Thies (pronounced “Theece”) can be summarized into four passions: music, love, nature, and food. From a young age, Robert showed an ear for music, reproducing what he was hearing on the television onto the piano. Moving around the country for his father’s job, he relocated back to Los Angeles in the early 80s while continuing piano lessons under his teacher at the time Robert Turner. Under his tutelage, Robert developed an even greater love for music and fine-tuned his technique and mastery of the instrument. Along with his love of classical music, he also explored film music, electronic, jazz, world music, and some popular music too so these composers would become his heroes and inspiration. “I am involved in many different types of music,” Robert said, “But if I had to summarize in just one word what type of musician I strive to be, I would say honest.”
The turning point of his career happened in 1995 in St. Petersburg where he won the Gold Medal in the International Prokofiev Competition, becoming the first American pianist in 40 years to win a competition in Russia. This brought national recognition to the young pianist and more opportunities for concert tours. As a concert pianist, about 75 percent of his musical activities involve performing as a soloist with orchestras, in solo recitals, and in chamber music ensembles. The other 25 percent includes recording for motion picture and television, and recording projects for living composers. “The good news is that by making a life in music, I feel like I’m living my dream,” Robert said, “Hopefully my life’s work will have brought some joy, beauty, or peace to others, and then maybe I left the world in a better place; but in the end, to love and be loved is the most important thing.”
His love and discipline for music has won the hearts of audiences worldwide and continues to inspire musical collaborations and creativity. Currently, he is preparing a solo recital program at the Norton Simon Museum on August 4th celebrating the life of composer, Claude Debussy. In September, he will start his U.S. tour with violinist, Lucia Micarelli. He will also be unveiling his third album of original compositions and improvisations with long-time friend Damjan Krajacic entitled Blue Landscapes III. The music he produces is very calming and therapeutic, receiving positive reviews from critics. Ending the year, Robert is performing one of his favorite works in Mexico: the Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto. “I love traveling to Mexico, because nowhere else in the world have I felt such a warmth from the people as I have there,” he said.
New Zealand remains his favorite place to travel because of the sheer beauty of the country. Outside of music, nature is where Robert feels at peace, whether that is hiking or walking his dog. In his hometown of Santa Clarita, he enjoys searching for local eateries with his loving wife, and walking the paseos with his dog.
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