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 CD’s 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.


  • D.M.A., Yale University 1980

Parkins, R. "Clavecímbano," "Clavicordio," "Nassarre." The Harpsichord and Clavichord: An Encyclopedia. Ed. I Kipnis. Routledge, 2007.

Parkins, R. "Spain and Portugal (revised 2nd edition)." Keyboard Music Before 1700. Ed. A Silbiger. Routledge, 2003. (Chapter)

Parkins, R. "Spain and Portugal." Ed. A Silbiger. Schirmer, 1995.

Parkins, R. "The Registration of Baroque Organ Music (Barbara Owen)." The Sixteenth Century Journal XXIX (1998): 183-185. (Academic Article)

Parkins, R. "Rediscovering the German Romantic Organ." The Diapason (March 1989). (Academic Article)

Parkins, R. "(numerous short music and book reviews)." The Organ Yearbook XVII- (1986). (Academic Article)

Parkins, R. "J. S. Bach as Organist (ed. George Stauffer and Ernest May)." Early Keyboard Journal IV (1985): 68-74. (Academic Article)

Parkins, R. "Mendelssohn and the Erard Piano." The Piano Quarterly 125 (March 1984): 53-58. (Academic Article)

Parkins, R. "Keyboard Fingering in Early Spanish Sources." Early Music XI.3 (July 1983): 323-331. (Academic Article)

Parkins, R. "Cabezón to Cabanilles: Ornamentation in Spanish Keyboard Music." The Organ Yearbook XI (1980): 5-16. (Academic Article)

Parkins, R. "Transposition in Seventeenth-Century English Organ Accompaniments and the Transposing Organ (J. Bunker Clark)." Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society IV (1978): 116-118. (Academic Article)

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.)