Robert Ziegler is one of the most versatile and innovative musicians working today, conducting symphonic and operatic repertoire as well as musical theatre, popular and contemporary music. He regular records music for film and television and maintains a lively career as a presenter and writer of radio programs.
A native of Los Angeles, where he trained as pianist with Jakob Gimpel and John Ringgold, he moved to the UK in 1981. He furthered his conducting studies with Franco Ferrara and Carlo Maria Giulini in Siena and shortly thereafter was a prize winner in the prestigious Fitelberg Conductors Competition in Katowice, Poland, which enabled him to guest conduct extensively in Poland and Germany.
In addition to conducting all of the major British orchestras, he has recently made debuts with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Australia), RTE (Dublin) Concert Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and his US debut with the San Francisco Symphony.
As a conductor and arranger, he has conducted for several years the Last Night of the Proms in Glasgow, Scotland, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. His next engagements include welcome returns to the BBC Concert Orchestra and London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic. He recently returned to the Adelaide Symphony in March 2013 for triumphant performances of the score of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) with music by Ligeti, Strauss and Khatchaturian.
Ziegler has worked as music director, arranger or producer for tours and recordings in special orchestral arrangements with Deborah Harry, Police drummer and composer Stewart Copeland, k.d. lang, Radiohead, David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Donny Osmond, Richard Ashcroft (The Verve), Pink Martini and jazz legend Wayne Shorter. He conducted the hit CD Divenire for composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi as well as the recently released Live in London DVD/CD with Randy Newman.
He has recorded many concerts for both radio and television and two award-winning CDs for Universal Music with chanteuse Ute Lemper including her classic disc of Berlin Cabaret Songs. He recently arranged and conducted on a new Kurt Weill disc for Sony/BMG.
Robert has devised and conducted many programs featuring classical, operatic and modern pops repertoire. Recent concerts include "From Hollywood to Bollywood," which features several of his orchestrations of Bollywood hits as well as Hollywood film scores and songs; "Rodgers and Hammerstein at the Movies" and “Disney Extravaganza,” accompanying film clips and songs from the classic Disney catalog in Hyde Park, London. He was music director and composer for "Crown of Light" for the Lumiere Festival in Durham in 2009 and 2011.
Ziegler was music director and arranger for the BBC 3 television hit Flashmob - The Opera, which brought opera to television screens around the world, winning several international awards including the Montreux Rose d'Or and the British RTS Award.
Ziegler has an long list of credits as orchestrator and arranger and has been performed by the Orpheus and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras and the Chicago, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Seattle, Iceland, Melbourne, Lyon and Tapiola Symphony Orchestras, Czech National Philharmonic, Orquestra do Algarve (Portugal) and Teatro Regio di Torino (Italy).
He has written and presented programs for BBC Radios 3 and 4 on a variety of musical subjects including Berlin Cabaret Songs (Radio 3), Tarantino's Jukebox (BBC Radio 4), a feature on the music in the films of that distinguished director, and Ken Russell's Lollipops for BBC Radio, which looked at that director’s biographical films of great composers.
His radio work also includes several editions of Stage and Screen (BBC Radio 3) featuring film composers Nino Rota and Michel Legrand. He is also the author of Great Composers, a popular history of music published by Dorling Kindersley.