Robert Simpson

About Robert Simpson

Robert Simpson is best known as the conductor of two major Texas choirs, the Houston Chamber Choir and the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, the former of which he founded. He is also a noted educator.
Simpson was born in New Jersey. An early influence inspiring a desire for a musical career was a Wurlitzer reed organ in his family home. Simpson attended Brown University and went on for a master's degree in organ at the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He rounded out his education with two years of study at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany. Returning to the U.S. in 1974, Simpson was hired by the Episcopal Cathedral in Orlando, Florida. After serving there for five years, he moved to the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, one of the largest Episcopal churches in the U.S. In 1989, Simpson was awarded Associate and Choirmaster Certificates from the American Guild of Organists, earning the S. Lewis Elmer Prize for attaining the highest test scores. He remained in Atlanta for 15 years before being invited to Christ Church Cathedral, in Houston, where, he told the website of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, "within two weeks of arrival, I had bought cowboy boots." Wanting to explore secular music as well as the sacred repertory, he founded the Houston Chamber Choir in 1996. He has built that group into one of the leading small American choirs and led it on tour to Wales and Mexico. Simpson also serves as a lecturer in church music at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He has led the Houston Chamber Choir in several recordings on the MSR Classics, ECM, and Signum Classics labels, including a Signum Classics recording of the complete choral music of Maurice Duruflé in 2019, for which he won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. ~ James Manheim

Similar Artists