Robert Dickow was born in San Francisco in 1949. After piano and
violin studies in his early years, at age 10 he discovered the horn,
and in two years was playing horn in the internationally recognized
California Youth Symphony, and later was a soloist with that
He studied horn with Charles Bubb and Ralph Hotz of the San
Francisco Symphony, and just out of high school began to play
professionally, working with musicians ranging from Ornette Coleman
and Bing Crosby to Seiji Ozawa and Robert Craft. In 1969 Dickow
played full-time in the Amici Della Musica Chamber Orchestra,
followed by a season as associate principal horn in the San
Francisco Opera Orchestra, until he decided to continue his musical
studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
While living in California he performed with many ensembles,
including the San Jose Symphony, San Francisco and Oakland Symphony
Orchestras, the Cabrillo Festival, the Carmel Bach Festival, the San Francisco Civic Light
Opera, and the San Francisco Wind Quintet.
His studies at Berkeley led to a Ph.D. degree in music composition.
Dickow lived in London from 1973 to 1975 as a recipient of the
George Ladd 'Prix de Paris' and has had works performed by the
Fitzwilliam String Quartet, Park Lane Players, the Orchestra of St.
John's-Smith Square, and the American Horn Quartet, among other
ensembles. Among the U.S. groups to have performed his music are the
Pittsburg New Music Ensemble, Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players,
Ann Arbor New Directions Ensemble, and the Louisville Youth Choir.
He taught harmony at Berkeley for two years before taking a teaching
position at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Today
Dickow is active in the Northwest as a teacher, composer, and
performer, and plays with the Lionel Hampton School of Music faculty
wind and brass quintets, the Spokane Symphony, and is principal horn
in the Washington/Idaho Symphony.
As a composer he has received several prizes and commissions, and is
published by Thompson Editions, Shawnee Press, Queen City Brass, and
Manduca Music. Most recently he has been composing music for video
documentaries and interactive CD ROM educational software, as well as
chamber and vocal music. In addition to instrumental and vocal music, he enjoys
electronic music, especially algorithmic computer composition. His electronic works
have been performed at the Society for Electronic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), the
14th Florida Electronic Music Festival, and at Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane.
Dickow is also a contributor to the Groves Dictionary of
Music and Musicians, The Groves Dictionary of Jazz, and The Groves
Dictionary of American Music. His personal interests and hobbies include gardening and computers.