Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bob studied the violin with several members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as a child and has been playing the violin in various orchestras for more than 40 years. He taught himself to play the piano in his early teens and soon developed a lifetime interest in the popular piano styles of the first half of the 20th century. He has studied old sheet music and piano rolls since the early ’70s.
By day, Bob works in a San Diego lab as a plasma physicist. By night and on the weekends he conducts musicological research, rehearses with various orchestras, and appears as a solo pianist through such organizations as the Orange County Ragtime Society and the Monrovia-based Rose Leaf Ragtime Club, at festivals such as the Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, West Coast Ragtime Festival, San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Festival and others, and at southern California venues as the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo and venues all around San Diego County. In 2005, he and Bruce Vermazen co-founded the HELIOTROPE RAGTIME ORCHESTRA, which made its ragtime festival debut later that year at RagFest.