Robert J. Gluck is Professor of Music and Director of the University at Albany Electronic Music Studio. He also teaches in the Africana Studies Department and Judaic Studies Program. Gluck is a pianist, writer, and composer. After years of conservatory training, his musical life changed dramatically after hearing Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Miles Davis' electric bands. Bob's repertoire spans jazz performance integrating electronics and free improvisation, avant-garde concert music, and music for home designed electronic expansions of acoustical instruments, including the ram's horn, Disklavier (computer-assisted piano), and Turkish baglama saz. He also designs multimedia art exhibits.
Bob Gluck has written numerous articles documenting the international history of electronic music. He is author of “You’ll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and the Mwandishi Band” (2012) and "The Miles Davis 'Lost' Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles" (2016), both published by University of Chicago Press. His essays have been published in Leonardo Music Journal, Jazz Perspectives, Organized Sound, Journal SEAMUS, Leonardo, Living Music Journal, The Reconstructionist, Tav+, the EMF Institute, and in various conference proceedings.
Gluck has released ten recordings and his work appears on several compilations. Among them are four critically acclaimed CDs on the British jazz label, FMR, most recently, "Infinite Spirit: Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band" (with Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, and Christopher Dean Sullivan), and the trio recordings “Something Quiet” with bassist Christopher Dean Sullivan and saxophonist Joe Giardullo, and “Sideways” and “Returning” with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Dean Sharp. The latest of his three duet recordings on the Ictus label is “At this Time,” with drummer Tani Tabbal. One of his performances of Neil Rolnick's music for piano and computer is documented on Rolnick's recording "Extended Family" (Innova). Gluck has performed internationally at, among other places, The Stone (New York City), Le Poisson Rouge (New York City), Spanish Synagogue (Prague, Czech Republic), Connecticut College, Keele University (United Kingdom), Concordia University (Montreal), Middlebury College, University of California at San Diego and Irvine, Brown University, Johns Hopkins University, The Flea Theater (New York City), Mobius Gallery (Boston), Dartmouth College, and Bard College. Gluck's music on tape has been heard in Mexico City, Bucharest, Berlin, and elsewhere.
Gluck's multimedia installation works include "Layered Histories" (2004), an immersive sound and video environment with Cynthia Rubin, shown at SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles), ACM Multimedia (New York City), Emmersive Gallery (Toronto), Prague Jewish Music (Czech Republic), ICMC (Miami), the Fine Family Gallery at the Marcus JCC (Atlanta), Legion Arts Center (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), PhotoStop (White River Junction), Charter Oak Cultural Center (Hartford, CT), Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale University, and Pixilerations (Providence, RI); and "Sounds of a Community" (2001-02), in which visitors trigger and shape pre-recorded sounds by interacting with seven electronic musical sculptures.
Gluck's musical training is from the Juilliard, Manhattan, and Crane Schools of Music, as well as the State University of New York at Albany (B.A., 1977) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (M.F.A., 2001). His primary teacher of piano was Regina Rubinoff (first in the Juilliard Preparatory Division). He is also a rabbi (a 1989 graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College), and he holds a Master's in Hebrew Letters from the RRC (1989) and a Master's in Social Work from Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler School of Social Work (1984). He has held various senior leadership positions in the Jewish Reconstructionist movement.