Indonesian-born Australian percussionist and composer Robert Oetomo (b. 1988) is an active freelancer as a soloist, chamber musician, composer and an educator. He has been invited as special guest artist to perform and present masterclasses in numerous festivals and universities around the world including the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg in Germany, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia, the 1st Qingdao International Percussion Festival 2014 in China and the 9th Tabasco International Marimba Festival 2015 in Mexico.
A versatile percussionist, Robert has performed with different orchestras and ensembles including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, Synergy Percussion, Askill Percussion Duo and Mannheimer Schlagwerk. He made his debut as soloist in 2010 with the Beecroft Symphony Orchestra, and since then has performed as soloist with the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Impronta. He is Co-Artistic Director of Askill Percussion Duo and the Sydney Marimba Weekend along with his duo partner, Anna Zeltzer.
Robert has toured extensively and performed in Europe, America, Asia and Australia with different orchestras and ensembles including the Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, the SBS Youth Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatorium Percussion Quartet and Mannheimer Schlagwerk. He was invited to perform his award-winning work, The Legend of the Golden Snail, at the Gala Concert of Australian Percussion Gathering 2010, performing alongside highly acclaimed percussionists including Steve Schick, Sylvio Gualda and Kuniko Kato. There, he also presented his own research paper on the Transcription of J. S. Bachঙs Unaccompanied ঘCello Suites for the Modern Marimba. Robert released his debut CD (Evergreen EP) in 2012 and his second CD titled A Composer’s Portrait: Soar in 2015 under independent record label, immaculate music records. He is currently recording the complete J. S. Bach's Unaccompanied ʻCello Suites transcribed for the modern marimba.
As a composer, Robert passionately advocates the development of percussion music. He has composed numerous works for percussion which have been performed all over the world. In 2015, he was commissioned by the Australian Marimba Competition 2015 to compose a compulsory Australian piece (Étude de Paganini), for which he was also a jury member of the competition panel. His first symphonic work, Spirit of The Dreaming with solo didgeridoo, was premiered at the 2008 Aurora Music Festival in Sydney, Australia. Later that year, it was performed again with renowned didgeridoo soloist, William Barton. Robert was selected for the 2010 Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra Composers’ Workshop program during which he composed his orchestral work, Reflections on an Islandঙs Landscape, under the mentorship of composer Nigel Butterley and John Peterson. His works are published by Edition Svitzer (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Tapspace Publications (Portland, Oregon, USA).
Robert began his percussion studies at the age of 18 while commencing his Bachelor of Music (Composition) degree at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music in 2006. The following year, he was admitted to Australia’s most prestigious music university, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he graduated with Bachelor of Music (Performance) Honours Class I in 2010. He then went abroad to Germany where he studied his Master of Music in Performance (Künstlerische Ausbildung) at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim, receiving the highest distinction for his graduation recital in 2014. His past teachers include Professor Dennis Kuhn, Jasmin Kolberg, Claire Edwardes, Daryl Pratt, Richard Miller and Gary Wain.
Robert is endorsed by Encore Mallets, Inc. and is a Marimba One™ Discovery Artist. He currently plays on a 5 1/2 octave Marimba One™ 3000 marimba with Premium keyboard voicing and Classic resonator voicing.