Rob Schwimmer is a composer-pianist, thereminist and Haken Continuum player who has performed and recorded throughout the world. He has worked with Simon and Garfunkel, Wayne Shorter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stevie Wonder, Bobby McFerrin, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Gotye, Chaka Khan, Laurie Anderson, Bette Midler, Christian Marclay, Matthew Barney, Arif Mardin, Adam Guettel, Paul Bley, The Boston Pops, Mary Cleere Haran, T-Bone Walker, Sam Rivers, Ethan Iverson, Marc Shaiman, Marc Ribot, Frank London, David Krakauer, Maria Schneider, Michel Gondry, Mark Morris Dance Group, Trey Anastasio, The Klezmatics, Bernie Worrell, Nels Cline, Annette Peacock, Mabou Mines, Geoffrey Holder, John Cale, Steve Buscemi, Iva Bittova, Theo Bleckmann, John Stubblefield, The Roches, Jack Quartet, Scott Robinson, Edie Brickell, Teo Macero, Hal Willner, Vernon Reid, The Everly Brothers, Ethel, James Emery, Bela Fleck, Kurt Vonnegut, Tamar Muskal, Odetta, Drepung Loseling Tibetan Monks, Sussan Deyhim, Joseph Jarman and Alwin Nikolai/ Murray Louis Dance.
A founding member of the acclaimed Polygraph Lounge with Mark Stewart, Rob’s solo CD “Beyond The Sky” was hailed as “Extraordinary” in Gramophone, “Shaping up to be the finest solo piano CD of the year” in The NYC Jazz Record while The New York Times praised his “Virtuosity, magic, and humor.” Schwimmer performed his own version of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue with orchestra, was commissioned by The Metropolitan Museum to write new music for the 50th anniversary showing of the movie “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”and with Polygraph Lounge has received 2 commissions from Carnegie Hall for full length concerts.
A founding member and co-director of The NY Theremin Society, Rob is one of the top theremin virtuosos in the world and was featured on CBS Sunday Morning, in The NY Times, Wall St Journal, WNYC, WQXR and the popular PBS series “History Detectives”. Rob is thereminist in Ethan Iverson’s (The Bad Plus) “Pepperland” for the Mark Morris Dance Group. Appearances as theremin soloist include The Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Caramoor (which included Rob’s theremin arrangement of Bernard Herrmann’s “Scene d’Amour” from Vertigo,) The Boston Pops at Symphony Hall, with Bobby McFerrin at Carnegie Hall, Simon & Garfunkel’s world tours, The Moab Music Festival and The Little Orchestra at Lincoln Center. In addition to his CD Theremin Noir (with Uri Caine and Mark Feldman), Rob is featured thereminist on Trey Anastasio’s CD Traveler, Matthew Barney’s epic movie Cremaster 3, R.W. Goodwin’s feature Alien Trespass, CBS series Now and Again and A&E’s Breakfast With the Arts. He performed at Disney Concert Hall with The 10 Piece Theremin Orchestra and was interviewed for CBS Sunday Morning about the resurgence of the theremin. Rob premiered an original silent movie soundtrack featuring live theremin at Bucknell University and given its NYC premiere at The Tribeca New Music Festival.
Rob is also a leading player of the Haken Continuum fingerboard. Recent recording sessions on Continuum include Paul Simon, Esperanza Spalding and Trey Anastasio.
He composed the score for 2008 Academy Award winner “Freeheld” and collaborated on 1997 Oscar winner “Dear Diary.” Rob’s compositions have been featured in theater, television, documentaries and feature films.
Concert venues include Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw, Weiner Konzerthaus, Tokyo Dome, Madison Square Garden, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Museum, The Stone, Museum of Modern Art, Blue Note, CBGB’s, The Stone and the Colosseum.