Born in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 4, 1947, Daniel Robbins has lived most of his life in Southern California. He attended California State University at Long Beach, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Music degree in musical composition. Further graduate study in composition and musicology earned him a Master of Music from the University of Southern California in 1976 and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1997. At USC he was a student in the film scoring class of David Raksin, and while attending UCLA studied advanced film composition and arranging with Henry Mancini.
Dr. Daniel Robbins is considered to be the leading authority on the music and career of the eminent film composer Miklos Rozsa. In 1972 Robbins undertook private musical instruction from him, thereafter remaining a personal friend and close musical confidant for many years. In the mid-1990s Daniel Robbins was engaged by Rozsa to orchestrate and arrange some of the composer’s most memorable motion picture scores for new commercial recordings. CDs of Robbins’ renditions of Miklos Rozsa film music include: Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound, played by the Slovak Radio Symphony; MGM’s Ivanhoe and Julius Caesar, both performed by the London Symphony; “Caesar Now be Still/Finale,” Robbins’ concert suite from Julius Caesar recorded by both the City of Prague Philharmonic and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; and music from the epic films Ben-Hur and King of Kings, recorded by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of Erich Kunzel and featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Dr. Robbins’ latest Rozsa CD, The Man in Half Moon Street as performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, is newly available on Intrada recordings. In addition, the 2-volume Film Music for Piano on Intrada showcases Daniel Robbins performing his own piano adaptations of many more Miklos Rozsa film scores.
Multiple articles by Daniel Robbins on Miklos Rozsa appear in Film Score Monthly as an online serial publication: “Friendship Among the Stars,” “First Visit to Miklos Rozsa,” “Rozsa as Teacher,” “Spellbound in Slovakia,” and “Later Visits to Miklos Rozsa” all give a fascinating and colorful account of Dr. Robbins‘ long and enduring personal and professional kinship with the legendary Miklos Rozsa.