Pianist Robert Kortgaard was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. He completed his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City. As a recipient of arts awards from the Canada Council, he furthered his musical studies in Italy and England.
Robert has performed as a soloist with major Canadian orchestras and has given recitals throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in England, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, China, and Japan. He is a favorite collaborator of many of Canada’s finest instrumental soloists, vocalists and chamber groups. His performances are frequently heard on CBC Radio and he has recorded for the Centrediscs, Marquis Classics/EMI, CBC Records, Teldec, and ATMA Classique labels.
Robert is Artistic Director of the Indian River Festival on Prince Edward Island (recently nominated “Event of the Year” by the East Coast Music Awards), and the Leith Summer Music Festival in Ontario. He was musician-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick from l993-l998 and has given piano masterclasses at universities and festivals in Canada, Indonesia, and China and served as an adjudicator at many national music competitions.
Robert has performed with sopranos Isabel Bayrakdarian, Sumi Jo, Jane Archibald, Adrianne Pieczonka, and Measha Brueggergosman, mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, violinist Joshua Bell, and prima ballerina Veronica Tennant on a production titled “Invitation to the Dance.” He has recorded French and German Cabaret programmes with mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell for CBC Records. His CD with soprano Wendy Nielsen was nominated for both Juno and East Coast Music Awards. Robert tours with flutist Susan Hoeppner, cabaret artist Patricia O’Callaghan, baritone Brett Polegato, renowned music theatre actress/singer Rebecca Caine, and piano duo partner Peter Tiefenbach. A CD of the music of Olivier Messiaen, recorded with soprano Suzie LeBlanc, was released on the ATMA Classiques label and has received an Opus Award for best recording of 20th century music.