Michael Robinson started his academic career in 1961 as Teacher of Harmony and Counterpoint at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, then moved the following year to a Lectureship in Music at Durham University. He and his family emigrated in 1965 to Canada where he was appointed Assistant Professor in the Music Faculty of McGill University, Montreal. The Faculty promoted him to Associate Professor in 1967. On his return to the UK in 1970, he gained a Lectureship in the Music Department of University College, Cardiff (later Cardiff University), rising thereafter to Senior Lecturer in 1976 and to Professor in 1991. For the academic years 1987-94 he served as Departmental Head. In 1994 he retired, gaining the title of ‘Emeritus’ a year later.
Michael Robinson’s main research interests lie in the area of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italian music, especially opera. His D.Phil thesis entitled Neapolitan Opera, 1700-80 (completed in 1963) was based on several years of research in Italy and later provided much of the material for his book Naples and Neapolitan Opera published in 1972. His major research project was the compilation of a thematic catalogue of the works of the eighteenth-century Italian composer Giovanni Paisiello; this research was published in two volumes in 1991 and 1994 respectively. The project involved visits to 150 libraries and archives in 17 countries and correspondence with 40 more over a ten-year period. Since his retirement Michael Robinson has also written on aspects of music theory; his e-bookTime in Western Music is due to appear online in 2013.
Michael Robinson also composes. For more information on this and other aspects of his career, readers may refer to his website.