John D. Robinson


Canadian violinist John Robinson is a graduate of the Juilliard school where he studied with Oscar Shumsky. His earlier teachers include Harold Sumberg, David Zafer while at the University of Toronto, and Boris Berlin on piano at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, as well as master class appearances with Zoltan Szekely, Pinchas Zuckerman, and William Primrose.

Before resuming his studies in New York, he played a year with the Toronto Symphony. John has appeared with members of Canada’s Orford String Quartet; Andrew Dawes, Desmond Hoebig, and Terrence Helmer in performances at the International Clarinet Congress in Toronto, the Scotia Festival in Halifax, and in Silico, Italy.

With violist Eric Shumsky, he has appeared in concerts in New York, Seattle, Vancouver, and most recently at the ‘Music Under Glass’ series at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Along with his wife, Lyric violinist Diane Duraffourg, he has performed at festivals in Hérisson and Volore, France.

He served as principal second violin for the twenty-year run of Concertante di Chicago, founded and led by former Lyric principal Hilel Kagan, and appeared as soloist on many occasions. Other solo appearances include Filarmonica di Caracas and the Banff Festival Orchestra (Canada). As violinist with the Highland Park Bach Society, he performed on many live WFMT studio recitals with harpsichordist Nancy Humphrey. John has been recorded live on CBC Radio Canada (R. Murray Schafer quartets from Scotia Festival), CBC National television (Kreisler), Venezuelan television (Bach Concerto), and Seattle public radio (Beethoven string trios). He appeared at Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weill Hall) in a performance of a William Schuman string quartet with the composer present.

He has taught at the Banff, YAE (Vancouver), and Scotia Festivals. John was the only Canadian participant in the 1978 Carl Flesch International Violin Competition in London. A first prize winner of the Contemporary Music Competition (Toronto), he is also a winner of the Canada Council for the Arts, ‘Arts Award’, which funded his studies at Juilliard. In 2015, along with friends from the Lyric Opera Orchestra, he performed Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ on the Opus 327 concert series in Evanston, where he lives with his wife Diane, and their son, Alexander.