Born in Princeton, NJ, Robert O'Brien began started playing the cello at age eight. Mr. O'Brien plays regularly throughout the Southeast and has appeared recently as a soloist with the Foothills Philharmonic and the Macon (Georgia) Symphony. As a chamber musician his programs have been heard on Peachstate Public Radio and on South Carolina Educational Radio. Recent performances include solo recitals in Kinston, NC and Greenville, SC. A former instructor at the Columbus (Georgia) Academy of Music, Mr. O'Brien was part of the first successful HUD sponsored Suzuki string program. Through this innovative program he was involved in bringing Suzuki and traditional cello instruction to public housing projects in western Georgia. In addition to his position as cello instructor of the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Mr. O'Brien is assistant principal cellist of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. Mr. O'Brien holds a degree from Peabody Conservatory in cello performance where he was a student of Stephen Kates. He has also worked with Leonard Rose, Janos Starker and former Fine Arts Quartet violinist Abe Loft. Mr. O'Brien was recently the recipient of a grant from the Surdna Foundation to study Baroque cello technique with members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and cellist Pieter Wispelwey of the Netherlands. Mr. O'Brien performs on a modern cello made in 2002 by David Burgess.