Robert Szymanek, PhD
I am Course Leader in Ensemble Performance in Sundanese Gamelan at The University of Manchester, where I am also a member of the Intercultural Musicking Research Group. I have special interests in the cultivation of well-being in music practice, and in intercultural music collaboration. Alongside this, I am a tutor of Piano, Composition and Gamelan based in London.
My training in music includes a a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology from Royal Holloway, University of London, where I also studied Sundanese gamelan with Simon Cook. In addition, I have a Masters and PhD in Composition from the Royal Academy of Music in London. My research here, supervised by Brian Elias and Sarah Callis, focused on practical and ethical considerations of working in intercultural settings as a composer. I have trained in classical piano with Shelagh Sutherland and Cristine Mackie, and contemporary singing with Mary Hammond and Howard Milner.
My continual professional development (CPD) includes safe-guarding certificates through the NSPCC, and a variety of mental health courses, including awareness in autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety and trauma.
I have taught on the Professional Development programme at the Royal Academy of Music, Composition Workshops with LSO Discovery, and Sundanese Gamelan at King's College, Wimbledon. I have also written about music, composition and technology for Sound & Music and LSO Discovery.
As a professional composer, I have worked with BBC Singers, Kyai Fatahillah Gamelan Ensemble, Youth Orchestra of the Middle East, COMA London, Chroma Ensemble, and soloists including Aisha Orazbayeva, Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Yuiko Asaba, Soufian Saihi, Joshua Doughty, Mali Llywelyn, Alice Barron, Sarah Mason, Ruth Hopkins, Lucie Louvrier, and Joshua Batty.
I have produced two albums under the the moniker Ok Bertie! My debut Music from a Crowded Planet was released in 2017, which came with an app for iPhone and iPad Crowded Planet, designed in collaboration with Matthew Hasler. This was followed by my second album We're Done For (And Other Responses) in 2020. For more information go to: bertieweb.com