Composer-pianist Robert Cunningham received his bachelor’s degree in piano from Duke University in 1970 and pursued further study at the Juilliard School of Music. Although he remained active as a performer, his focus later turned more to composition, where he developed a highly original, complex, and chromatic Romantic style. In addition to four piano sonatas and numerous shorter piano works, he has composed for a variety of chamber ensembles, for voice and chorus, and for piano and orchestra. He obtained a master’s degree in composition from Georgia State University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in music theory from Florida State University in 1999. His doctoral dissertation analyzes “Harmonic Prolongation in Selected Works of Rachmaninoff, 1910-1931.” He is the author of Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Bio-Bibliography, a scholarly reference volume published by Greenwood Press in 2000.
Now retired and living in Gilbert, Arizona, the composer is engaged in a long-term project to publish high-quality editions of his works, to get as many of them recorded as possible, and generally to make them known to a wider audience.