Robert Smith is an English viola da gambist and baroque cellist. In 2012 he won the Bach-Abel Viola da Gamba Competition in Köthen, taking the First Prize, Audience Prize and Special Prize. His performance of a heavy-metal transcription of a Metallica song was especially noted.
Robert’s ensemble, Fantasticus, has received wide critical acclaim for its recent recordings of stylus fantasticus and French Baroque music. In 2013 his playing was described by The Strad as, ‘Intensely expressive, highly dramatic.’
Robert studied Viola de Gamba with Mieneke van der Velden (Amsterdam) and Paolo Pandolfo (Basel). He also studied Baroque cello with Wouter Möller, Jaap ter Linden and Viola da Hoog. He was principal cellist with the European Union Baroque Orchestra in 2005/6.
Robert currently plays with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Fantasticus, amongst many other groups. In 2010 he won the second prize in the International Baroque Soloist competition in Brunnenthal, Austria. In ensembles he received several prizes in the Bruges Musica Antiqua Competition and the Van Wassenaer Competition (Amsterdam).
‘Robert Smith thrillingly exploits the full expressive range of the viol’
‘Robert Smith's plaintive expressive poise'
BBC Music Magazine