He is one of the 3 most successful blind musicians in the world. A pioneer of digital technology, he produced and arranged ‘Diamond Life’ by Sade, the first all-digital UK top ten record.
He is Executive Chairman of Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group, one of the UK’s best known independent music companies, representing the music of 150 artists, including Tina Turner, Blondie and Ultravox and more than 15,000 songs including Simply The Best, Whiter Shade Of Pale and Free Nelson Mandela. He was made a CBE in 2010.
Robin is a director of Creative & Cultural Skills UK Trading Ltd., Hon. Professor of Commercial Music, London College of Music, Global Advisor to Young Voices, Patron of CALM UK and Hon. Patron of The Music Producers’ Guild. He is Chairman of CMO Management Ltd, a leading music artist representation business.
Robin has 28 years’ experience at board level in commercial companies and national and global trade associations, 22 of those at Chair or vice-chair level. He has 14 years’ experience attending public bodies boards and 6 years’ experience as a board trustee.
He has been a visiting Professor at The Royal Academy of Music, London;The University of West London, The Brit School, London; Surrey University, England and Centra Musicale, Modena, Italy.
He has served as a member of the UK Human Genetics Commission for the past 9 years.
One of the world’s leading record producers with a national and international reputation, Robin has won every major international music industry award and gained 150 gold /platinum discs including 44 No.1 hits, representing over £400 million sales worldwide and bringing over £300 million in overseas income to the UK. He and Danny Boyle are the only British people to produce an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony – Atlanta 1996 and London 2012. He advised Lord Hall on increasing famous name participation and on the use of social networking in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
He trained as a lawyer but then enrolled as a music technology apprentice aged 24 and spent 3 years in workplace / college based learning.
He has operated successful businesses in recording studios, management, music and magazine publishing and luxury car hire and has worked as a musician, actor, recording engineer, chief executive, concert promoter and fundraiser.
He has been an international keynote speaker, masterclass lecturer and campaigner for 30 years and gave the keynote address at the first ever Digital Information Exchange in Los Angeles in 1984, predicting the move away from physical to digital media over the next twenty years.
In November 2010 Robin announced he was stepping away from music production to concentrate on his public and charitable roles and, increasingly, on assisting with new national apprentice and skills training programmes and in assisting head-hunters and public bodies unlock potential in disabled applicants for key roles on public, private and third-sector boards.
Robin has been publicly associated with efforts to ensure BBC compliance for the past 10 years and he was invited to apply for a position as one of the new BBC Trustees first time around.
Robin was one of 5 people from the music sector invited to make submissions to the BBC Charter renewal enquiry. He also gave the Music Industry’s written submission to the Monopolies & Mergers Commission enquiry into ethical practices in the sector.
Robin has Chaired fundraising Committees for British Lung Foundation, Artists Against Apartheid, Oxfam and UNHCR and has raised £30m by a series of campaigns and events. He is a former Patron and Creative Chair of Unite for UNICEF, and Patron of the UNHCR ‘Voices for Darfur’ Appeal. He is a long-time trustee of the Vietnamese Boat Peoples’ Appeal.
Robin received the 2002 Windrush Award for his lifetime’s work to create opportunities for minorities and a CBE in 2010 for music and fundraising and awareness campaigns. He is now an Honorary Professor at the London College of Music and Fellow of the Association of Professional Recording Services.
Throughout his career, Robin has mentored and trained artists and musicians, employees and colleagues and those embarking on business, enterprise or charitable projects. He took on his first apprentice in 1982. He encourages and guides people to envisage, harness and achieve their full potential and produce consistently outstanding results.
Robin has the progressive blindness condition Retinitis Pigmentosa and was registered blind at age 16 with no sight since 1985. In March 2012 he was the first recipient of a prototype bionic retinal implant as groundwork for future generations of possible treatment for blindness. The implant had no actual impact on Robin’s blindness but is providing useful data for future research.
“Robin is a personable, humorous, incisive, intelligent and supportive mentor. His sessions are uplifting and inspiring and focussed on producing award-winning results.” Eric Nicoli CBE, former Group Chairman, EMI Group PLC.
2011 – present
Trustee Creative & Cultural Skills
2011 – present
Global Advisor, Leonard Cheshire Disability United Nations Young Voices
Commander of the Order of The British Empire CBE
2010 – present
Patron CALM UK
2009 – present
Board Director, National Skills Academy UK
Fellow of The Association of Professional Recording Services.
Hon. Professor London College of Music
2005 - 2010
Personal Advisor to Group Chairman of EMI Group Plc and then EMI Ltd.
2004 – 2009
Music Producers Guild, Delegate to main board and performer board PPL UK Ltd,
2004 – 2007
Chairman and CEO [Sony Music] Whitfield Street Recording Studios.
Chair, PPL Peer review Tribunal PPL UK Ltd.
1999 – 2003
Member of DCMS Government Music Industry Forum, DCMS, Cabinet Office, London
Director, Performing Artists Media Rights Association
1997 – 2009
Chairman, Arts Media Ltd
1994 – Present
Visiting Professor, Royal Academy of Music, London; Thames Valley University, London; Surrey University, England and Centra Musicale, Modena, Italy.
1992 – 1994
Director, Association of Professional Recording Services UK
1989 – 1997
Worldwide Chairman, Music Producers Guild
1982 – 1990
CEO, Scarlett Group PLC and Crusoe Music Publishing Ltd.
1975 – 2010
1974 – 1982
Professional musician, recording artist, actor.
1973 – 1974
Ass. Royalty Manager then Copyright Manager, Polydor Records Ltd.
1970 – 1973
Queens’ College, Cambridge. MA [Law]