Robert was born in Corbridge in 1957. He started playing the piano aged 8 and, after attending Walbottle Grammar School, he graduated with a music degree from Birmingham University. Robert taught in Middle Schools in Northumberland, until his retirement from full time teaching in 2012. He now has private piano pupils and, apart from accompanying Riding Mill Choral Society, he also plays for Sing Live North East in Newcastle, is Musical Director for Hexham Amateur Stage Society and is an official accompanist for the Ryton Music Festival.
Robert was also accompanist for Riding Mill Choral Society in the 1980s under Gordon Grant, Jennifer Dudley, David Kilner and Richard Pomfret. He started as the Choral Society accompanist for the second time in September 2012.