Samuel Robles-Areas
(Ciudad de Panamá, 1974)
Panamanian Composer and Conductor.

Dr. Robles is one of Panama's most active conductors and composers. He has recently been appointed as Music Director of the University of Panama Symphony and Executive Director for the Youth Orchestras of Panama, after a 7-year tenure in the same capacity at the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Istmeña.

Robles has made guest conducting appereances with the Orquestra Sinfônica da Bahía, Sinfônica Mariuccia Iacovino of Brazil, Orquesta Nacional José Artigas del Uruguay, Orquestra Sinfônica Dois de Julho (Neojibá-Brazil), Youth Orchestra of the Americas-Camerata, the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic, the Youth Orchestra of Central America (JOCCA), orchestras and ensembles in Cincinnati, Kentucky, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chicago, and several cities within Panama.  In 1999, he conducted a tribute to Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas on the occasion of his centennial at the University of Cincinnati. This event received the support of the New Critical Edition of Revueltas (UNAM-Mexico) and the U. of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. After working with Benjamin Zander during the NEC-YPO’s tour to Panama, Zander called Robles a “wonderfully engaging” conductor.

Also a well-performed composer, Robles’ works have been peformed at the Teatro Del Chacao, the Tanglewood Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, The National Theater of Guatemala, The SODRE Theatre in Uruguay, and a number of international venues.  He has received commissions from the National Symphony of Panama, the Joven Orquesta y Coro de Centroamérica (JOCCA) and numerous soloists such as Ana Catalina Ramírez, Eddy Marcano, Elani Mejía and Stuart Gerber.  His works have been performed by the Orquesta Sinfónica de VenezuelaPacifica String Quartet, Dal Niente Ensemble, Jon Bisesi, the National Symphony of Panama, Michael Macaferri, and pianist Marianela Arocha, among others. He has represented Panama in international festivals, such as the Caribbean Composers Forum (Panama, 2004) and the Latin American Music Festival (Caracas, 2012).

A large part of Mr. Robles’ time has been devoted to teaching, which he has done at all levels. His credits include a Faculty position at Florida State University (Panama), Teaching Assistant at the University of Chicago, Faculty at the National Concert Association’s Music Camp, Music Director at the Balboa Academy, and Professor of Music at the International School of Panama.

Mr. Robles studied conducting with Mark Babbitt and has taken lessons with Mark Gibson, Rodney Winther, Timothy Foley and Timothy Weiss, among others. He has attended several master classes, and in 2007 was selected to participate in the prestigious London Master Classes, led by Benjamin Zander.

Robles is currently Music Director of the University of Panama Symphony, Associate Conductor for JOCCA, and an active free-lance conductor and composer. He is a Fulbright Scholarship recipient, holds graduate degrees in Composition (University of Cincinnati-CCM) and Musicology (U. of Chicago), and received his Doctorate in Composition from North-West University/South Africa, where he studied under Dr. Hannes Taljaard. Samuel is also a prize-winning poet and short-story writer.

Photo © Copyright Samuel Robles, 2010.  All Rights Reserved.