March 5, 1932
Born in Hartford, Connecticut to Sicilian immigrants, he received his musical training at the Hartt College of Music, the University of Hartford (BMus., composition cum laude, 1954, MMus., composition, 1955), Hochschule für Musik, Berlin (1958–1959) and the University of Iowa (Ph.D., composition, 1959–1961). His principal composition teacher was Arnold Franchetti. He also studied with Philip Bezanson and Boris Blacher.
He began teaching music theory at the University of Iowa in 1959, then moved to Hartt College in 1963. In 1964, he became Professor of theory and composition and Composer-in-Residence at The Music Conservatory of Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago, a position he would hold for 35 years until 1999.
His compositions include over 200 works for opera, orchestra, chamber music, instrumental solos, choral music, musicals, and electronic music He has collaborated with his wife, Kathleen, poet and playwright, on several compositions. He is also one of the few composers writing for the mandolin. Dimitris Marinos performed his Concerto for Mandolin and String Quartet in a world premiere in Chicago in 1995 In addition, Marinos has recorded six of Lombardo's compositions.
His works have been performed all over the world. In 1992, contemporary music group CUBE performed his work, in Chicago. Roosevelt University hosted a performance of several of his works on his 80th birthday. And for these, Lombardo has been the recipient of multiple awards. In 1964, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, and two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and three Ford Foundation Grants in 1962, 1963 and 1964 among others.
Lombardo's works are not limited to simply compositions; he is also respected for his commissions, which include an important work commissioned by the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation and housed in the Library of Congress. Robert Lombardo's papers, including musical scores and correspondence, are housed at the Northwestern University Library.
- "Robert Lombardo" at the Northwestern University Library
- Anderson, E Ruth (1976). Contemporary American Composers. A biographical dictionary. Boston: G K Hall & Co. ISBN 0816111170.
- Ewen, David (1982). American Composers: A biographical dictionary. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0399126260.
- Rehrig, William H (1991). The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. Composers and their music (Two volumes). Westerville, OH: Integrity Press. ISBN 0918048087.
- Official website - comprehensive biography
- Official website - brief bio
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- Composium Directory of New Music. Annual Index of Contemporary Compositions. Sedro Woolley, WA: Crystal Musicworks. 1981, 1982/83. ISSN 0275-2301. Check date values in:
|year=(help); Missing or empty
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- Delacoma, Wynne (January 20, 1995). "Opens Opens Northwestern U Career with Piano Concert". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016.
- Delacoma, Wynne (January 23, 1992). "Concert Honors 3 Local Composers". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 14, 2016.
- John von Rhein Recommends, Chicago Tribune, November 9, 2012
- Shen, Ted (November 23, 2002). "Gentle reading of Lombardo". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Robert Lombardo". Guggenheim Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "ASCAP adds to $$ grants". Billboard. June 8, 1968. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Koussevitzky Foundation Archives, 1965
- "Koussevitzky Foundations Announces Commission Winners". Library of Congress. January 6, 2012.
- "Guide to the Robert Lombardo papers". University of Northwestern. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Official website
- "Relevant Tones". WFMT. December 29, 2012.