Recorded on Ghost Dialogues (CD)
Métier 28572, Chris Gekker, trumpet

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, October 5, 2017 (Review Excerpt)

Fall (2016) by Robert Gibson sets the tone with an almost aching retrospection and beauty, the piano setting up lush tapestries of sustains that the trumpet completes in kind.

Fanfare Review by David DeBoor Canfield

First heard is Fall of Robert Gibson, about whom biographical information may be found in William Zagorski’s review in 20:2. Naturally, I had to read the program notes to ascertain in what sense of the word ‘fall’ the work was titled; it turned out to be the season, but it is also written in tribute to another work of the same name by Wayne Shorter, performed by Miles Davis on his album Nefertiti. The jazz feeling of this languid, laidback work is subtle rather than overt, but the influence of Shorter and Davis is hard to miss, and Gekker slows down his vibrato a bit to augment the jazz feeling.

Fanfare Review by Colin Clarke

Written for trumpet and piano, Robert Gibson’s short piece Fall (2016) doubles as a reflection both on autumn and on Wayne Shorter’s composition, itself in turn a reflection on the Miles Davis Quintet’s recording of Nefertiti. The atmosphere is beautifully laid back; it is easy not to notice the way Gekker hits the exact center of each note in his smoky musings.

Twelve Poems:

San Francisco Classical Voice (
Contemporary Music Review

Controlled Extroversion, November 8, 2005 (Review Excerpt)

By Jules Langert

Strata, the brilliant instrumental trio of violin, clarinet, and piano which has made several appearances with Composers, Inc. over the years, was in the Green Room again on Tuesday, this time with a full recital of magnificently played music, some of it composed expressly for this ensemble. Though the program may have contained an overabundance of extroverted, flamboyant music, it hardly seemed to bother Composers Inc.’s audience, who leapt to their feet at the end of the concert in an exuberant standing ovation.

One of the musical highlights, Maryland composer Robert Gibson’s Twelve Poems, was an evocative set of short character pieces, by turns moody, colorful, and dynamic, as performed by its dedicatees, violinist James Stern and pianist Audrey Andrist. In each piece Gibson was able to translate a descriptive title into an appropriate sound image, from which the musical shape could evolve. In Wind Chimes it was sliding string harmonics against bell–tones for the piano that made the connection. Reflection was opaque and contemplative, in the form of a palindrome. Waves emulated the patterns of growth and decay that we associate with sound waves, and Cloudburst combined intricately chromatic runs for the violin with short, percussive tone clusters in the piano. With Hommage the music took a detour into a quasi–Debussyan soundscape. Quatrain and Octave, the last two pieces, used their respective intervals prominently, ending the work with a rush and a clarion flourish.

Three Etudes:

Recorded on Influence (CD), New Dynamic Records

Music and Vision Homepage (Review Excerpt)

Influence CD Cover.jpg

Varied Influence, September 16, 2006

For anyone who would like a brief (54 minutes) conducted tour of some of the most exciting, colourful and skilfully made contemporary American chamber music, this CD, produced through Indiana University, would make a superb addition to any collection. Its title arises from the varied influences that its featured composers have used in the making of their pieces, and two of them are première recordings.

The other premier is that of the well made Three Etudes for clarinet and piano by Robert Gibson. The influence here is technical brilliance as demonstrated in the impressive range of concert studies from Chopin to Ligeti. After a sinuous first and a peaceful folksy second, the third study is a jazzy tour de force for both instruments.

—Patric Stanford, Wakefiled, UK

Fanfare, May/June 2006 (Review Excerpt)

Robert Gibson is a professor at the University of Maryland College Park and a veteran of Fanfare's Want List. For his Three Etudes for clarinet and piano (2000), he found inspiration in the concert etudes of Chopin, Debussy, and Ligeti, although bis music does not evoke those composers. The first piece is a flowing corrente (which is redundant, I suppose), the second is a folkish dance, and the third, says Gibson, “is an obsession comprised of a few short motives that suggest a jazz improvisation.“ Clarinetist Nathan Williams and pianist Audrey Andrist play them all with great fluency.

—James Reel


“…excelled in juxtaposing live and recorded effects.”


“…a keen sense of organization”

Four Haiku (arrangement for double bass and vibraphone):

“…pieces that deserve another hearing”


“…[a piece] of imagination, craft and beauty”

A Sound Within:

“…outstanding new music…a brilliantly colored midsummer night’s dream for solo piano—enchanting, sometimes feverish, always intricately detailed.”

Concerto for Double Bass and Chamber Orchestra (Music of Robert Gibson, Spectrum Records LP):

“…attractive, accessible and well–crafted.
The instrumentation throughout the piece is masterly….The colors are striking both in variety and beauty.”

November Field (Music of Robert Gibson, Spectrum Records LP):

“…a work of great expressiveness and unusual beauty”

Quintet for Winds (The American Music Project LP):

“…concise and reaches effective progressions and a variety of textures in its one-movement variation form.”
—AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE (Review of The American Music Project LP, Clarion Wind Quintet)