About

Robert is a composer living in Boston, MA. He co-founded the Sleeping Giant composer collective and co-directs the Times Two Series. Send me emails at rhonstein@gmail.com !

Check out my store to purchase albums and scores.

long bio

Press

Click here to see what people have to say about Robert's music.

Click here to download press materials for Robert.

Events Calendar

  • We 4.26.17: RS @ The Armory
  • Th 5.4.17: TINM @ Conn
  • Su 5.7.17: Arctic @ S. Church
  • Mo 5.8.17: Lip Service @ ESM
  • Sa 5.13.17: Index @ NC
  • Su 5.21.17: Hymning @ TIPC
  • Sa 6.3.17: Arctic @ AMF
  • Su 6.4.17: Requiem @ DPO
  • Su 6.3.18: Night Scenes @ DPO
Click here to see past events.

Alone Together, the video!

Thrilled to share this video of Alone Together featuring not one but FOUR Lisa Dowlings, produced and filmed by Evan Chapman and Four/Ten Media with audio by Ryan Streber and Oktaven Audio. Thank you to icareifyoulisten.com for premiering it!

Grand Tour, the video!

I am so happy to share this video of Grand Tour performed by the inimitable Karl Larson and beautifully shot by Evan Chapman and Four Ten Media. Thank you so much to WQXR and Q2 Music for premiering the video.

Patter, the video!

I am so happy to share this video of Patter performed by New Morse Code and beautifully shot by Kevin Eikenberg of Four Ten Media. Thank you so much to Vic Firth for posting the video!

Hand Eye, the album

Photo by Elliot Mandel

Photo by Elliot Mandel

I’m very excited to report that Hand Eye, the evening length piece by Sleeping Giant for eighth blackbird, is being released April 8 on Cedille Records. Read all about it here, and click here to get a free download of a preview track, which happens to be the third movement from my piece Conduit. Currently touring around the country to rave reviews, this project has been epic and wonderful. I’m really proud to be a part of it and thrilled that it will soon be available for all to enjoy!

Orison, live recording

A wonderful recording of the world premiere of my piece Orison for cello and electronics is now available. Composed for Ashley Bathgate as part of Sleeping Giant’s Ash, the piece is a slow, meditation on the memory, and resonance, of the  Sarabandes in Bach’s cello suites. It’s also my first foray into the instrument + electronics genre. Ashley sounds amazing. Read more about the piece here and give it a listen below.

Arctic, the video!

Hey, new video of the Mivos Quartet recording Arctic! Commissioned by Carnegie Hall and composed for Mivos in 2013, the piece is in two movements – Midnight Sun and Polar Night – and inspired by the photography of Chris McCaw. I’m so happy to finally be able to share this piece with you. Read more about it here, and enjoy the video below!

Lip Service, the video!

This one has been a long time in the making, but I’m extremely proud to finally release the video of Concert Black performing ‘Lip Service.’ One of my longest and strongest collaborations, I’ve been working on this jam with Owen, Lisa and Domenica since 2011. Perhaps more than any other piece of mine I feel like this music totally embodies the personalities of those three, and they totally embody the character of the music, so it’s particularly cool to have this amazing documentation of them rocking it. Evan Chapman once again brings his incredible eye and ear to the project, creating a beautiful and captivating video of Concert Black’s performance. Enjoy!

Talking in Circles, the video!

Very excited to share this awesome new performance video by andPlay and Evan Chapman! Click here to learn more about the piece. Tell all your friends!

Middle Ground

for Violin and live processing – 20 minutes

Cast in three movements – Too Far, Too close, and Bridging the GapMiddle Ground searches for a common space between opposites. The first movement, Too Far, emerges quietly from the highest range of the violin. Barely audile, fingers at the instrument’s edge, the music hovers in a cloud of ethereal tones before slowly descending. In an abrupt shift, the second movement, Too Close, lives in the violin’s lowest range. Distorted, rhythmic bursts hammer away at chopped up scales and jagged arpeggios. Eventually waves of sound surge upwards, only to plummet back down, pulled by a relentless, unyielding gravity. The final movement, Bridging the Gap, seems almost without hope. Exhausted by the previous movement’s struggle, the music searches for a new path forward. Two lines, one descending and the other ascending, gradually, methodically move towards each other, steadily intensifying as they approach middle ground.

Check out a recording from the premiere featuring Kate Stenberg, Violin.

Middle Ground was commissioned by Kat Kroll, Barbara Sapienza, and Nancy Karp + Dancers and premiered February 10, 2016 by Kate Stenberg at the ODC Theater, San Francisco, CA.

The Sun Speckled Climbing Up

Chamber Orchestra (1111.2 sax.111.perc.pno.11111) and Two Sopranos – 12 minutes

sun speckled

The Sun Speckled Climbing Up takes its inspiration from Book of Hours, an artist book stitched on tissue paper by Laura Grey. Loosely following the structure of a medieval book of hours, the project reimagines the ancient prayerbook as a large, hand-stitched, table- sized book. Several texts from various sources are collaged together, creating a narrative that references the structure of the original, while offering a contemporary perspective on the practice of daily devotion. The Sun Speckled Climbing Up is a musical setting of one section from Book of Hours featuring fragments from Rainer Maria Rilke’s own Book of Hours collection. Accompanying the music are video projections created by Hannah Wasileski and Laura Grey comprised of slow moving close up footage of the hand stitched, tissue paper book. The Rilke text speaks of gaping emotional chasms, yearning, and desire. This sentiment finds its way into the music, fueling the piece’s angular vocal lines and churning ensemble rhythms. This piece was commissioned by the Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra.

For rental information please click here

premiered 06.10.16 at EMPAC, Troy, NY, by the Dogs of Desire, David Alan Miller Conductor