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Robert Ziegler is one of the most versatile and innovative musicians working today,
conducting symphonic and operatic repertoire as well as musical theatre, popular and
contemporary music. He regular records music for film and television and maintains a lively
career as a presenter and writer of radio programmes.
A native of Los Angeles where he trained as pianist with Jakob Gimpel and John Ringgold,
he moved to the UK in 1981. He furthered his conducting studies with Franco Ferrara and
Carlo Maria Giulini in Siena and shortly thereafter was a prize winner in the prestigious
Fitelberg Conductors Competition in Katowice, Poland which enabled him to guest conduct
extensively in Poland and Germany.
In addition to conducting all of the major British orchestras, San Francisco Symphony, New
Zealand Symphony Orchestra, he returns this season to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
(Australia), the BBC Concert Orchestra and London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC
Philharmonic, RTE (Dublin) Concert Orchestra and Manchester Camerata and makes his
debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
In the world of film music, he was musical director for Radiohead guitarist Jonny
Greenwood’s debut in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood which was nominated
for the BAFTA for Best Score and the LA Film Critics Prize for Best Motion Picture Score. He
was also musical director for Jonny’s next film score, Norwegian Wood. He has been
Conductor on many films including, Dream House, De-Lovely, Hamlet and Sense and
Sensibility and Howard Shore’s score for Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming Hugo Cabret and
has conducted for The Simpsons.
Ziegler has worked as Music Director, Arranger or Producer for tours and recordings in
special orchestral arrangements with Deborah Harry, Police drummer and composer Stewart
Copeland, k.d. lang, Radiohead, David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Donny Osmond, Richard
Ashcroft (The Verve), David Gray, Pink Martini and jazz legend Wayne Shorter. He
conducted the hit CD “Divenire” for composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi as well as the
recently released “Live in London” DVD/CD with Randy Newman.
He has recorded many concerts for both radio and television and two award winning CDs
for Universal Music with chanteuse Ute Lemper including her classic disc of Berlin Cabaret
Songs. He recently arranged and conducted on a new disc for Sony/BMG with soprano
Frances Bourne.
He was Music Director for “Crown of Light” for the Lumiere Festival in Durham in 2009 and
Ziegler was Music Director and Arranger for the recent BBC 3 television hit “Flashmob – the
Opera” which brought opera to television screens around the world winning several
international awards including the Montreaux Rose d’Or and the British RTS Award.
Ziegler has an long list of credits as orchestrator and arranger and has been performed by
the Orpheus and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras and the Chicago, San Francisco,
Milwaukee, Seattle, Iceland, Melbourne, Lyon and Tapiola Symphony Orchestras, Czech
National Philharmonic, Orquestra do Algarve (Portugal) and Teatro Regio di Torino (Italy).
He has written and presented programmes for BBC Radios 3 and 4 on a variety of musical
subjects including Berlin Cabaret Songs (Radio 3), Tarantino’s Jukebox (Radio 4) and
several editions of Stage and Screen (Radio 3) featuring film composers Nino Rota and
Michel Legrand. Robert will write and host a feature on the music in the films of another
distinguished director “Ken Russell’s Lollipops” for BBC Radio 4. He is also the author of
“Great Composers”, a popular history of music published by Dorling Kindersley.