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UNM John Donald Robb Musical Trust

UNM John Donald Robb Musical Trust

The UNM John Donald Robb Musical Trust supports the musical legacy of Robb, furthers his inspiring commitment to education, and advances the music of the Southwest.

Robb served as dean of the UNM College of Fine Arts from 1942-57 and was responsible for starting the UNM Symphony and many other educational initiatives. A composer himself, he produced an impressive body of work, including symphonies, concertos, sonatas, chamber music, choral works, arrangements of folk songs, two operas, a musical comedy and more than 65 electronic works.

During his tenure at UNM, Robb’s fascination with Hispanic folk music led him to collect 3,000 field recordings of traditional songs and dances from the American Southwest, South America and Nepal. These songs, now easily accessed digitally through the UNM Libraries’ Center for Southwest Research (CWSR), form the nucleus of the John Donald Robb Archive of Southwestern Music, which is housed in the CSWR.

The Trust’s many initiatives include the editing, arrangement, performance and recording of Robb’s original compositions, as well as the work of other composers.

Each spring, the UNM John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium brings to the UNM campus composers from around the world, and also showcases the work of UNM student and faculty composers. The Symposium is one of the longest ongoing festivals of new music in the world, and it has attained an international reputation.

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