Latest News

  • Hello Philadelphia!

    August 2013
    After five marvelous years in England, my husband and I have journeyed back across the pond. Already desperately missing the cheese and the architecture (oh, York Minster...!), still having nightmares about toothpaste leaking on the Dow Partbooks in our checked luggage (they arrived safely), and compulsively brewing tea at regular intervals even though it is in fact rather hot and steamy outside. On the other hand, I am greatly looking forward to renewing old connections and to working with some wonderful ensembles here in Philly and beyond. And to all my excellent colleagues and friends with whom I have had the pleasure of working for the last five years - keep in touch, come visit us at Bryn Athyn Cathedral, and I hope to sing with you again soon.
  • Singing on the Back Row

    May 2013
    I've recently begun singing as a deputy lay clerk at Ripon Cathedral, the first adult woman to do so in the history of the church, which was founded in AD 672. Though I have studied at a top music conservatory, hold an MA in ensemble singing, and work with some of best early music performers in the world, this experience is filling a crucial gap in my development as a choral and consort singer. The skills to be gained (sight-reading, focus, confidence, musicianship, familiarity with the repertoire, sheer vocal endurance, to name a few...) can technically all be gleaned from other sources. But now that I've had a taste of singing with the men on the back row, I believe the cathedral choir tradition teaches these skills in uniquely powerful ways. It's also simply a beautiful experience, as a professional singer, to be permitted to contribute the skills that are my life's work to a tradition which is both spiritually important to me and so closely tied to the music that I love and study. Thank you, Ripon Cathedral, for the opportunity.
  • Recording the York Masses

    September 2012
    Boreas have just released a new set of recordings by the Ebor Singers, Mystery and Miracle, a collection of music connected to or inspired by medieval York, in particular selections from the York Masses (c. 1490s-1520s). This recording was done with eight voices, with the inner parts divided amongst three tenors (one really an haute-contre) and myself. It's unlikely that this music would have originally been sung by women, but these mass movements were associated with the parish churches around York, not the Minster, so anything is possible. Between the different anonymous mass movements, there were higher and lower tessituras to deal with, though in most of the mass movements the alto and tenor lines were both C3 clefs. Consequently though we began the recording process with me and the haute-contre together on the "alto" part, in the movements where alto and tenor were essentially equal voices the balance and colour between the parts wasn't right and we ended up redividing into tenor + haute-contre and tenor + contralto. Through the course of the project I partnered with all three tenors in three different tessituras and textures - a fascinating exploration of ambiguous vocal territory all around.
  • Viadana at the Proms

    August 2012
    Looking forward to singing in the Proms with I Fagiolini in Royal Albert Hall on the 22nd of August. My colleague Graham Bier and I were asked to make performing editions of the Viadana four-choir psalms for this program, and it will be an honour to have such fantastic performers singing and playing from our editions!

"silky lyricism..."
The York Press, November 2012
Socrate, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall

"Purity and evenness of tone..."
The Worthing Herald, February 2012
Worthing Youth Prom

"... the essential alto aria Es ist vollbracht, sung by Robin Bier, has considerable emotional resonance."
Fanfare, March 2011
St John Passion CD, Peter Seymour

"Robin Bier brought a touching commitment, and no little fluency, to her monologue."
The York Press, June 2007
Herod and the Slaughter of the Innocents, National Centre for Early Music

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