Bobby Mitchell

Germany (residence), United States (citizenship) °1985
affiliation: Universiteit Leiden (Netherlands), Orpheus Institute (Ghent, Belgium), MusicExperiment21
en

Bobby Mitchell is a young American pianist whose interests are embedded in the here and now of music as performance art in combination with the more standard classical repertory of centuries past.  His diverse interests in historical performance practice and in contemporary trends have brought him to venues across Europe, South Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas.  He records for the Alpha Music label (Haydn on an original pianoforte) and for Telos Music. Bobby holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (Netherlands), and the Musikhochschule Freiburg (Germany). He is an ORCiM Doctoral Researcher (Orpheus Instituut in Ghent, Belgium) where he collaborates on the European Research Council funded project Music Experiment 21, and is enrolled in the University of Leiden's Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (Netherlands).  Primary teachers include Nelita True, David Kuyken, Robert Hill, Stephen Perry, and Bart van Oort.   www.bobbymitchellpiano.com    www.youtube.com/mitchellbobby


research

activities

  • Doctor of Arts (2013) connected to: Polifonia
    Degree: Doctorate, Leiden University (Netherlands), Orpheus Institute (Belgium), recipient: Bobby Mitchell
  • Doctor of Arts (2013) connected to: Polifonia
    Degree: Doctorate, Leiden University (Netherlands), Orpheus Institute (Belgium), recipient: Bobby Mitchell
  • Reconstructing Nineteenth Century Improvisational Practice at the Piano
    Project, Principal Investigator: Bobby Mitchell
    Accomplished 19th-century keyboardists included improvisation in their daily musical practice. What traces might be left of how they improvised? Contemporary treatises on improvisation are insufficient to reconstruct the improvisational practice of the era. Thorough-bass treatises represent another point of insight into the theory behind 19thcentury improvisation. Compositional sketch material might reflect both thorough-bass method and improvisational practice. Tracing both improvisation and thorough-bass practice in compositional sketches, I expect to arrive at a clearer picture of the practice of improvisation in the musical life of 19th-century pianist-composers. The piano music of Robert Schumann makes an excellent case study due to his documented interest in improvisation and to the quantity of readily available sketch material. My role as experimental archaeological musician will be to apply the insights gained from this study to my own piano improvisations in order to reconstruct and revive the practice of improvisation in 19th-century style.
  • Reconstructing Nineteenth Century Improvisational Practice at the Piano
    Project, Principal Investigator: Bobby Mitchell
    Accomplished 19th-century keyboardists included improvisation in their daily musical practice. What traces might be left of how they improvised? Contemporary treatises on improvisation are insufficient to reconstruct the improvisational practice of the era. Thorough-bass treatises represent another point of insight into the theory behind 19thcentury improvisation. Compositional sketch material might reflect both thorough-bass method and improvisational practice. Tracing both improvisation and thorough-bass practice in compositional sketches, I expect to arrive at a clearer picture of the practice of improvisation in the musical life of 19th-century pianist-composers. The piano music of Robert Schumann makes an excellent case study due to his documented interest in improvisation and to the quantity of readily available sketch material. My role as experimental archaeological musician will be to apply the insights gained from this study to my own piano improvisations in order to reconstruct and revive the practice of improvisation in 19th-century style.


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