Robin Hartwell received his early training in music as a choirboy in London where his choirmistress was the composer Betty Roe. He went on to study music at the Universities of Reading, Southampton and Sussex, combining theoretical and analytical work with composition. His composition teachers include Andrew Burn, Christopher Wintle, Jonathan Harvey and Hugh Wood. He has published on Rhythm in Webern, Post-modernism, Stockhausen’s Licht and Music and Sacred Space.
There has been an intermittent stream of music for various ensembles including:
short stage works The Discourse of the Soothsayer, Jean-Jacques
music for dance Sadie's Quartet
chamber music Unequal Division, The Dancers and After the Leaving. Liverpool 2016 (premièred by ensemble 10:10), Pas de Deux (clarinet and piano), Cruciform Trio (flt, vlc, pno)
choral music Sermon to the Birds (SATB and wind), Madonna and Child (SATB), Voyages and Buildings (for double choir, 2 synthesisers)
electronic music A story recounted (percussion, electronics and tape), Venice postcards (electronic music with computer visuals by Pete Cummings), The Pixelators (for piano and tape); solo music Intermezzo (for piano), Heartsounds (for soprano) and
orchestral works Over, Salome Dances and Jubilee (premièred by the Metropolitan Cathedral Orchestra and Choir).
Robin Hartwell has lived in Liverpool since the mid-1980s and is currently Honorary Fellow in Music at Liverpool Hope University.