Rob Landes is an award-winning violinist from Orem, Utah whose music genre includes Improv Rock and Pop. In his brief Facebook bio, he comments, “Give me a violin, an amp, and a pedal and I’ll give you a killer video.”
Rob was born to a large musical family and started playing the violin at the age of 3. However, like most students, he admits that he did not enjoy practicing the violin growing up. At the young age of 10, he gave his first solo recital. He performed in the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on the Disney Channel with the Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra, and founded a piano trio that performed actively throughout his teenage years. He also played at the summer festivals in Colorado and toured in Europe with the Brigham Young University Chamber Orchestra. He remarked, “I got to see a lot of the world. That wouldn’t have happened if I weren’t a musician.”
Rob has the honor of being the first prize winner at numerous music competitions. He has performed solo with the Utah Symphony, Utah Valley Symphony, San Diego Chamber Orchestra, BYU Philharmonic, and BYU Chamber Orchestra.
As a first violinist of the BYU Chamber Orchestra, Rob performed in more than twenty cities throughout central and southern Europe. As concertmaster of the orchestra, he gave a concert to a sold-out audience in New York’s Carnegie Hall.
He was awarded full scholarships to attend both Brigham Young and Rice University where he earned a Bachelor’s in Music and Master’s in Music, respectively. During his time at Rice University, he gained an interest in covering rock and pop music. After graduation, he returned to Salt Lake City, Utah and bought a looper pedal and an amp which according to his official website, he uses “to stack percussive sounds and melodies into complex harmonies,” thus creating intricate and stunning arrangements of today and yesterday’s most popular music. And according to KSL.com, the results are “polished and beautiful…velvety.”
As a tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, on the sixth anniversary of his death, Rob recorded a looped violin mashup of two of Michael’s greatest hits, “Billie Jean” and “Thriller.” All the sounds for the video were made by violin and kick drum. In the video, he wears Michael Jackson’s trademark sequined glove, and also the red leather “Thriller” jacket.
Rob is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and performs with the Orchestra at Temple Square. Speaking of the Orchestra at Temple Square, he commented, “It’s a really amazing experience. This has got to be the best orchestra and choir in the world. It’s just so fun to play at such a high level.”
He has recorded YouTube videos covering artists such as Imagine Dragons and their song “Radioactive.” And in a duet with pianist Aubry Pitcher, he recorded a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
KSL.com reports, “Landes is not your typical violinist. Landes manipulates the harmonies to sound as if several violins were playing at once.” Rob further commented, “I love music. It’s a gift I can give to people. Music is really something everyone can learn if you really work at it. I want people to know that through hard work great things are possible.”
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