Malachy Robinson is a dedicated chamber musician, as passionate about Early Music as he is about New Music. He is a founder of the Gregory Walkers, a group performing “Early Music from Ireland and beyond” in which he plays the violone, and is director of the Robinson Panoramic Quartet, a revelatory alternative to the standard string quartet. Principal double-bass with the Irish Chamber Orchestra since 1995, he is also a founder member of the cutting-edge Crash Ensemble as well as appearing with period-instrument orchestras such as The Sixteen, the English Concert, the OAE and the Academy of Ancient Music. He was a founder member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra (with whom he played for ten years) and the Nuevo Tango Quartet (playing the music of Astor Piazzolla). He has performed with the Vanbrugh, Callino, Parisii, T’ang, Con Tempo and Vogler String Quartets, the Phoenix Piano Trio, Daghda Dance Company, the Brian Byrne Big Band, and theatrical diva Camille O’Sullivan. His quintet Lunfardia led by Argentinean guitarist Ariel Hernandez received four-star reviews from the press for their recordings.
Regular solo double-bass performances have included many Irish premieres, including Serbian composer Zoran Eric’s concerto “Off” which he performed eight times on tour with the ICO. He has worked closely with and premiered pieces by many Irish composers including Kevin O’Connell, Judith Ring, Ian Wilson and Raymond Deane. His double-bass playing has been described by the Irish Times as “rich in rhetoric” with “rhythmic life” and “unassuming virtuosity” and by the Irish Examiner as “remarkable virtuosity” employing a “variety of timbres”. The Classical Review magazine (reviewing a recording by the EQ Ensemble) recently praised his “adroitly lowering, often exquisitely bathetic double bass” !
Malachy’s performing career started when, as a boy, he sang principal roles in the Dublin Children’s Opera productions of “Good King Wenceslas” and “Birthday” at the RDS in 1982 & 1983. A prize-winning student of modern dance at the time, he took to the double-bass and joined the Dublin and Irish Youth Orchestras. With the Dublin Youth Orchestra he performed his first bass concerto in the National Concert Hall in 1990.
Studying double-bass in London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama (where his second study was conducting) he graduated at the top of his year with first-class honours and the Dove Memorial Prize for General Excellence. After taking a Master’s Degree in Historical Musicology at the University of London, Malachy returned to Ireland in 1994 and has since been in constant demand, working in all idioms both on stage and in studio.