Robert Parkins

Robert Parkins

Professor of the Practice in the Department of Music

Organ and Harpsichord

External Address: 
66 Mary Duke Biddle, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90665, Durham, NC 27708-0665
(919) 660-3315

Robert Parkins is the University Organist and a Professor of the Practice of Music at Duke University. He first assumed the position of Chapel Organist at Duke in 1975, then joined the faculty of the School of Music at Ithaca College in 1982, returning to Duke in 1985.

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music, Dr. Parkins studied organ with Gerre Hancock, Charles Krigbaum, and Michael Schneider, as well as harpsichord with Ralph Kirkpatrick. As a Fulbright scholar he pursued further organ study in Vienna with Anton Heiller.

Dr. Parkins has concertized throughout the United States and Europe as well as in Central America. His organ and harpsichord recordings have appeared on the Calcante, Gothic, Musical Heritage Society, and Naxos labels. Still available are several CDs recorded on the Flentrop, Aeolian, and Brombaugh organs in Duke Chapel, including Early Iberian Organ Music, Brahms: Complete Organ Works, German Romantic Organ Music, Iberian and South German Organ Music, and Organ Music of Frescobaldi. His most recent album, Salome's Dance, recorded on Duke Chapel's Aeolian organ (Loft Recordings, 2019), includes music by late German Romantic and American composers.


  • D.M.A., Yale University 1980

Parkins, R. “"J. Cabanilles: Selected Works for Organ." (forthcoming 2018).” The American Organist.

Parkins, R. “Clavecímbano," "Clavicordio," "Nassarre.” The Harpsichord and Clavichord: An Encyclopedia, edited by Igor Kipnis, Routledge, 2007.

Parkins, R. “Spain and Portugal (revised 2nd edition).” Keyboard Music Before 1700, edited by Alexander Silbiger, Routledge, 2003.

Parkins, R. Spain and Portugal. Edited by Alexander Silbiger, Schirmer, 1995.

Parkins, R. “The Registration of Baroque Organ Music (Barbara Owen).” The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. XXIX, 1998, pp. 183–85.

Parkins, R. “Rediscovering the German Romantic Organ.” The Diapason, Mar. 1989.

Parkins, R. “(numerous short music and book reviews).” The Organ Yearbook, vol. XVII-, 1986.

Parkins, R. “J. S. Bach as Organist (ed. George Stauffer and Ernest May).” Early Keyboard Journal, vol. IV, 1985, pp. 68–74.

Parkins, R. “Mendelssohn and the Erard Piano.” The Piano Quarterly, no. 125, Mar. 1984, pp. 53–58.

Parkins, R. “Keyboard Fingering in Early Spanish Sources.” Early Music, vol. XI, no. 3, July 1983, pp. 323–31.

Parkins, R. “Cabezón to Cabanilles: Ornamentation in Spanish Keyboard Music.” The Organ Yearbook, vol. XI, 1980, pp. 5–16.

Parkins, R. “Transposition in Seventeenth-Century English Organ Accompaniments and the Transposing Organ (J. Bunker Clark).” Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, vol. IV, 1978, pp. 116–18.

PARKINS, R. “KEYBOARD FINGERING IN EARLY SPANISH SOURCES.” College Music Symposium, vol. 21, no. 2, 1981, pp. 169–169.

Early Spanish Keyboard Music. Musician. (2013)


R. Parkins, Early Spanish Keyboard Music (2012-13) (Harpsichord LP originally released by MHS, 1983: digitized for internet reissue.)

Organ Music of Frescobaldi. Musician. (2003)


R. Parkins, Organ Music of Frescobaldi (2003), Calcante CD038

Vierne: Messe solennelle. Musician. (2003)


R. Parkins, Vierne: Messe solennelle (for choir and two organs) (2003), Arsis CD133

Iberian and South German Organ Music. Musician. (2001)


R. Parkins, Iberian and South German Organ Music (2001), Calcante CD036

German Romantic Organ Music. Musician. (1998)


R. Parkins, German Romantic Organ Music (1998), Gothic G49096 edit

Brahms: Complete Organ Works. Musician. (1994)


R. Parkins, Brahms: Complete Organ Works (1994), Naxos 8.550824

Early Iberian Organ Music. Musician. (1993)


R. Parkins, Early Iberian Organ Music (1993), Naxos 8.550705

Entrada. Musician. (1993)


R. Parkins, "Entrada" (Anon.) on "An Introduction to Early Music'" (n.d.), Naxos 8.551203

Early Spanish Keyboard Music. Musician. (1983)


R. Parkins, Early Spanish Keyboard Music (1983), Musical Heritage Society MHS 4724L (LP: harpsichord.)

Mendelssohn, Brahms and 17th-Century Spain. Musician. (1982)


R. Parkins, Mendelssohn, Brahms and 17th-Century Spain (1982), Gothic 68109 (LP: organ.)

Organ Recital, Charlotte, NC. Musician. (2017)

Organ Recital, Cleveland, OH. Musician. (2017)

Organ Recital, Charleston, SC. Musician. (2017)

Harpsichord Recital ("Late Renaissance Music from Iberia"), HKSNA Conclave, University of South Dakota . Musician. (2014)


Recital performed on the world's oldest playable harpsichord (Naples, c1530).

Faculty Organ Recital ("Magnificat"), Duke Chapel, 3/23/14. Musician. (2014)


Program title: "Magnificat." Organ works based on the Magnificat, including music by early Iberian and French composers, plus works of Bach and Rheinberger on the Brombaugh and Flentrop organs. Assisted by Kristen Blackman, cantor, and members of the Duke Vespers Ensemble, directed by Brian Schmidt.