Robert Gruca is an exciting guitarist who performs a wide range of solo, chamber, and concerto repertoire. In recent seasons he has toured throughout the US and into Canada.
Highlights of Roberts seasons include touring the eastern United States and Europe with the Cleveland Orchestra, performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 under the direction of Franz Welser–Most. Other performances with the Cleveland Orchestra include Kurt Weill’s Little Three Penny Music, Igor Stavinsky’s Le Rossignol with Pierre Boulez and Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony with Howard Shore. Robert Gruca made his concerto debut performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Nuvi Mehta. Recent concerto performances include Concierto de Aranjuez and Fantasia para un Gentilhombre with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and the New Philharmonic both under the direction of Kirk Muspratt.
Possessing powerful musical interpretation and complete technical command over his instrument, Robert Gruca has earned several first prizes in national guitar competitions. He won first prize in the Columbus State Guitar Symposium Competition, the Appalachian State Guitar Festival Competition, and the East Carolina University Guitar Festival Competition. He was a top prize winner in the Rantucci International Guitar Competition and a semifinalist in the Guitar Foundation of America Competition and the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.
Other awards and honors include receiving the 2007 Distinguished Alumni award from Grand Valley State University, Department of Music. Robert Gruca has studied with John Holmquist and Jason Vieaux at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received a Master of Music degree. Previous teachers include Brian Morris of Grand Valley State University and Roger Humphrey of Olivet College. He has participated in master classes with such prominent guitarists as David Russell, Lily Afshar, Judicael Perroy, Stephen Robinson, Sergio & Odair Assad, Hubert Kappel, Antigoni Goni, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.
In a 2006 compact disc, Robert Gruca recorded solo guitar works by Bogdanovic, Koshkins, Dyens, Rodrigo, Schubert and J.S. Bach. He has recently completed a recording of several pieces by Handel including some original transcriptions. That compact disc was released under the MSR record label in 2012.
Robert Regularly performs with flutist Linda White as part of the Gruca White Ensemble. As Artists in Residence at The Music School Settlement, Robert and Linda entertain audiences throughout Greater Cleveland with their fresh approach which combines classical, latin, popular, and improvised music.
In addition to performing, Robert Gruca is a highly motivated and dedicated guitar instructor. Robert recently completed Every Child Can! and Guitar Unit 1, 2 and 3 of the Suzuki method of music instruction. Robert teaches at The Cleveland Music School Settlement and is proud to have started the first Suzuki guitar program of Northeast Ohio, there, in 2013.