FASO’s Artistic Leader: Robert Shroder

A photograph of Robert "Bob" Shroder, musical director and conductor of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra.

Musical Director & Conductor, Robert “Bob” Shroder

Founding musical director and conductor Robert Shroder grew up in the musical and historic town of Kawit in the Philippines. His first music teacher was his grandfather, Augusto R. Samaniego Sr., the conductor of the local Magdalo Band and a member of the world-renowned Philippine Constabulary Band. Shroder studied flute performance at the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Enrique Barcelo. He later concentrated in chamber music and conducting under Reynaldo Paguio and Leopoldo Lopez. Shroder also attended extensive conducting workshops and master classes with former Manila Symphony Orchestra conductor Helen Quach. Pianist and conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin Lorenzo Palomo, and award-winning violinist and chamber music conductor Christoph Poppen. While in college, Shroder was principal flutist of the Philippine Youth Orchestra under the baton of Sergio Esmilla Jr. Due to his impressive academic standing at the University of the Philippines, he was invited to join the Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity . This distinguished fraternity was brought to major Philippine music institutions by National Artist of the Philippines Lucrecia Kasilag.

In 1982, Shroder won the National Music Competition for Young Artists grand prize at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He became principal flutist of the Manila Symphony Orchestra, the oldest symphony orchestra in Asia and where he auditioned and was hired right after his graduation recital, and the Manila Chamber Orchestra, where he was a member until immigrating to the United States. In Los Angeles, he was the founding conductor of the Boyle Heights Youth Symphony. Shroder was also the first Filipino-American in the symphony, which was founded in 2002.

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