• Composer • • Pianist •
• Thereminist • • Haken Continuum •
• Former Co-Director of The NY Theremin Society •
| ||— Andy Hamilton in
March 19, 2020
"Heart of Hearing ... [is] a manifesto of sorts - a proclamation that all
styles are fair game if you can play them convincingly and if you have the
technique and imagination to move between them without ever sounding out of
| ||— Allan Kozinn in
San Francisco Classical Voice|
July 20, 2018
"... there is a great deal of wisdom – and wit and genuine tenderness – in Schwimmer's art.
On Heart of Hearing, his palette is in plain view. But if you really listen, you might
just see how his mind works, too"
| ||— Greg Buium in Point of Departure|
|I grew up in a small town by the ocean in
Japan. Where I lived, people like Rob Schwimmer only existed in movies, books,
the world of magic, wonders and legends. He would also have to have 12 limbs
and 7 fingers on each arm, each finger connected to his millions of neurons
in a neural network. By listening to this album, we too can quasi experience
running through this rich deep electron forest of Rob Schwimmer's mind.
Maybe a little? It’s nice to fantasize...
| ||— Yuka Honda|
|5 Stars - Rob Schwimmer, piano and theremin.
A wonderful recording of one of the finest musicians anywhere. Wonderful,
deep, great technique, clarity of ideas and execution, soulful, beautiful touch,
smart. His theremin sounds so human I'd vote him vocalist of the year. Rob
is a storyteller who is a master of moods. Whatever he is selling I will buy.
| ||— Cooper-Moore|
|Heart of Hearing
"[is] a marvelous achievement, kind of the culmination (up to now) of the
many strands of your musical soul. The choices are eclectically perfect. And
Lost In The Stars... wow. Vertigo, oh boy! That music always takes me to an
indescribable place of Hollywood eeriness and you nailed it.|
Thanks for sharing it with me and the world."
| ||— Michael Feinstein|
|Clifford Allen reviewed "Mr. Joy: A Celebration
of Paul Bley" in the
Jazz Journal (February 2016)
Sean Michaels wrote a book called Us Conductors based on Leon
Theremin's life, which just won the
Rob played a few pieces when he was doing his book reading
last summer at GreenLight Books over on Fulton in Brooklyn
as you can read in his article for The Wire
|"My First Theremin"
| ||— Keyboard Magazine|
|"...beneath that unpretentious exterior there is a
master of his instrument and an artist of supreme insight and sensitivity."
| ||— John Hammel|
Mozart to Motorhead Radio Show
Home Grown Radio NJ
|"Where Better to Play a Theremin Than on a Boat?"
| ||— Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim|
The New York Times
|"Beyond the Sky, a collection of short pieces and miniature suites, offers a tour of Mr. Schwimmer's
musical house, moving from room to room without much concern about whether the material at hand
is classical or jazz, improvised or carefully plotted."
| ||— Allan Kozinn|
The New York Times
|"This is exquisitely beautiful music, worthy of deep listening"
| ||— Ernie Rideout|
|"Schwimmer combines a genuinely impressive sense of structure
with a jazz-fueled spontaneity and an ear for instantly memorable melodies"
| ||— Steve Smith|
Time Out NY
|"Let's focus first, not on the scale of the Canberra International
Chamber Music Festival and its Sounds Alive program —large ensembles,
chamber groups, sexy vocalists, technical prowess— but on the power of a
single figure, at one instrument, a crowd rising in a terraced wave
from his humble place on a wooden platform. As Rob Schwimmer plays..."
| ||— Zsuzsanna Soboslay|
|"Schwimmer's an accomplished pianist, performer and composer,
who's worked with the likes of Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon"
| ||— Mary Huhn|
New York Post
"You may not know Rob Schwimmer, but you oughtta ... Beyond The Sky
mainly on his piano playing and composing, both of which are remarkable. "
| ||— Wes Phillips|
"Rob Schwimmer is a composer, piano virtuoso and thereminist who
has long gained the respect and admiration of many in the
ASCAP Playback Magazine(Fall 2006)|
|"Not only is Rob Schwimmer one of my first-call piano players, he's also a
great artist in his own right. His compositions, technique and interpretation
all come together on Beyond The Sky —Some of the best piano playing I've ever
| ||— Arif Mardin|
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
|"Beyond The Sky is fantastic. In every way....writing, playing and pianistically.
Dynamically. Lyrically. I could go on. Congratulations. You're killin', man!"
| ||— Michael Brecker|
Grammy Award winning jazz great
|"Astounding. Extraordinary. Other Worldly (Hence the title?) Those
Hands...That Brain! Passion and Intellect in equal measure.
Congratulations. All The Things You Are rocks.
| ||— Vernon Reid|
guitarist/composer (Living Color)
|"It's brilliant. Holding You In My Arms is gorgeous..."
| ||— Adam Guettel|
Best Musical Score Tony 2005
"Light In The Piazza"
"Thanks much for sending me the new CD, which I heard yesterday with
great delight. The song paraphrases are witty, your original pieces
fascinating, and of course the "Waltz for Clara" is especially
| ||— Robert Sherman|
|"Utterly unique...Virtuoso in the extreme...One of a kind...Such great
surprises! The structures are so thoughtful and complete...I couldn't wait to hear
the next track...The most imaginative version of Stormy Weather I've ever
heard...The world deserves to hear you." (Beyond The Sky)
| ||— Leonid Hambro |
renowned classical pianist/
piano competition judge
|"This solo piano exploration (Beyond The Sky) by Rob Schwimmer is full of
passion and love...his execution and ideas flow with a beautiful sense of
freedom that captures you from his first phrase to the last."
| ||— Joe Lovano|
Grammy Award winning jazz
saxophonist and composer
|"His compositional and improvisational delivery were equally sumptuous, reflecting an acute sense of structure."
| ||— Concert review from |
All About Jazz — 2/1/08
|"Rob Schwimmer's 'Beyond The Sky' is a
skillful, creative, and natural blending of classical and jazz
influences. It's an impressive display of passion, virtuosity, and
seemingly spontaneous inspiration. Rob's original haunting ballads
are little gems that tug at your heart and demand repeated listening.
I especially love his 'Waltz for Clara' (for theremin and piano) ...
a wonderful piece that perfectly captures Rob's unique musical
vision and manages to be nostalgic and futuristic at the same time. "
| ||— Richard Dworsky |
pianist/music director for
A Prairie Home
|"Rob Schwimmer uses the piano like a French impressionist painter uses a
brush ... painting scenery, mood and atmosphere taking me to strange and beautiful
places. This music is incredible, very original, takes great chances and I've
never heard anything quite like it before —I love it! He is a true artist."
| ||— Geoffrey Holder|
Tony Award Winning Director, Actor, Choreographer
Subtle, intriguing music. If Skriabin grew up listening to the best American
pop, he would sound something like this."
| ||— Limor Tomer|
Whitney Museum Adjunct Curator of Performing Arts
Music Curator at BAM, Lincoln Center Festival, Symphony Space
"Its gorgeous!! Nice sound and strong playing...you can really tickle
them thangs!!! The piece all seem real structured and thought out...I
like Ostinato and Repeated Notes and Quicksilver (especially the
sudden rests!) Almost seems like they could go on..short and sweet
though. And Double Helix and Beyond the Sky (and some of the rest
too) have a great impressionist quality/sonority though they move
differently....great work...thanks again for the CD, very beautiful"
| ||— John King|
"If you buy this expecting the madcap Rob Schwimmer of Polygraph
Lounge you will be surprised. I mean, it's the same Rob Schwimmer,
but this album of solo piano and theremin compositions and
improvisations is the work of a sober citizen —Which is not to say
that it isn't quite lovely, because it is. Straddling that ethereal
border between classical Impressionism and chamber jazz, this is a
pensive and pretty recording — A pleasant shock but certainly not a
| ||— George Robinson|
The Jewish Week
|"The album is terrific and I love it! Great work. Sounds just like
you at your very best, which is really really good, as you well know.
I think my favorite (original) is the 3 Tone Poems. Favorite standard
is Stormy Weather —Lovely stuff throughout."
| ||— Warren Bernhardt |
"You know how some people can just sit down at the piano during a
party and play for an hour or two nonstop, keeping everyone
enthralled? On this solo piano album, Rob Schwimmer achieves that
sort of effect, except he does it mostly with original music that
straddles classical and jazz with a touch of the avant-garde. He
throws a few chestnuts our way, including "Buddy, Can You Spare a
Dime?" and "Stormy Weather," but aptly categorizes his renditions as
"Hallucinations on Popular Songs." Come to think of it, the whole
recording has a reassuring, hallucinatory quality that draws a
listener inside Schwimmer's fertile musical imagination. "
| ||— Seth Rogovoy|
Berkshire Living Magazine
|"Theremin Noir is inhabited by an uncanny beauty.
A moody, delicate, and highly original album. Strongly recommended.."
| ||— François Couture, All-Music Guide|
|"Really enjoyable and quite impressive...
an incredible musician and a fantastic theremin player!"
| ||— Elliott Sharp|
|"Best of 2001 CD's" (Theremin Noir)
| ||-George Graham WVIA-FM|
|"Rob Schwimmer tells compelling stories with his fingers.
When they connect with a piano keyboard, the music connects with us, and we hear passions,
adventures, love stories, and tall tales, all told in an involving, personal style."
| ||— David Garland|
WNYC New York Public Radio
"What would you do if asked by a well-known film director to re-create a musical scene
for which the fate of the whole project hinges?"
| ||— Mark Rubin|
on making the Gwyneth Paltrow track for the movie "Infamous"
The Austin Chronicle
| ||— Boston Herald |
|"Rob is a technical and musical virtuoso"
| ||— Attencion (Mexico)|
|"...seemingly limitless keyboard skills."
| ||— Berkshire Advocate Weekly|
|"...grace with power"
| ||— Option |
|"Well-stocked brains, strict performance discipline, and killer chops."
| ||— Boston Globe|
| ||— WNYC Radio |
|"Haunting and unforgettable"
| ||— The Wire (UK) |
| ||— El Independiente (Mexico) |
|"...his piano playing has a great push-and-pull of romanticism and
rigor...an enjoyable way
of being complicated but flowing gracefully."
| ||— David Garland, WNYC-FM|
"Brainy and dreamy"
| ||— Charlene Baldridge|
San Diego News
"I enjoyed it very much! Great compositions and great playing!!! You
sound great. "
| ||— Uri Caine|
"The CD lives in my car player out here in LA."
| ||— Jack Douglas, producer |
John Lennon (Double Fantsay), The Who (Who's Next), Miles Davis,
"What a sensational album! You play wonderfully, but I am more taken
by your music —The album is a great accomplishment."
| ||— George Steel, Executive Director
Miller Theatre, Columbia University
"It's absolutely beautiful - beginning to end. I can't thank you
enough for sending it to me. The production values, the
compositions... the whole 9 yards - just delicious!"
| ||— Elliott Randall, guitarist |
Steely Dan (Reelin' In The Years), etc.
"I listened to your amazing CD tonight. I don't know what to say: I
was blown away, really surprised by your references, your past, your
ear, your agility, your taste."
| ||— Jonathan Sheffer|
conductor, artistic director
(Red, An Orchestra/ Eos Orchestra), composer
|"Man what a beautiful CD, your chops sound strong &
clear. For a record that
is as diverse as yours is, the strength of your voice and the humor and the
playfulness of what you play hold it all together."
| ||— Jamey Haddad|
master percussionist (Paul Winter, Osvaldo Golijov, Paul Simon, Nadia
"I welcome and applaud a sensibility like Mr. Schwimmer's; a composer who
writes and performs with a sensibility that resides in a musical landscape
that holds to no boundaries."
| ||— John Hammel|
WNTI-FM "From Mozart to Motorhead"
"Jesus roller skating Christ man! This is exactly the record I was
dying for ya to do! It's gooder'n hell! Wheee! Badass! You must be
| ||— Jimi Tunnell|
Steps Ahead, etc.
"Jesus Christ Rob, you're a genius! I really love it - amazing music,
and very original."
| ||— Leo Abrahams|
|"Accomplished theremin virtuoso...Schwimmer's own compositions
are what makes the disc
especially memorable...Disciplined freedom"
| ||— Jazzwise (UK) |
|"...a marvelous release."
| ||— DMG |
|"I particularly enjoyed the work of Rob Schwimmer"
| ||— Art Vincent/Jazznet |
|"His control of this odd instrument, which is played by a laying-off
of hands —you move through electric fields generated by
its antennae, controlling volume and pitch without ever touching the beast—
| ||- Linus Gelber, Music Dish|
|"...soloist of note"
|- Down Beat |