Robert Ward maintains an active career as pianist, orchestral conductor, chamber musician, director of international music festivals, juror at prestigious competitions, and master teacher.
His students are on the faculties of music schools and conservatories across the US, Europe and Asia.
The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts named Professor Ward a Distinguished Teacher in the Arts for "inspiring young artists and having the most profound influence on their artistic development." Other honors include the Austrian-American Council of North America Award for Extraordinary Service to Youth and Music, and the Music Teachers National Association President's Award for International Outreach.
Robert Ward's early teachers were pupils of such legendary pianists as Russian virtuosa Isabelle Vengerova, Beethoven specialist Artur Schnabel, and Emil Sauer, one of the last pupils of Franz Liszt. Advanced studies took him to the Akademie für Musik in Vienna and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. At his debut the Viennese press wrote "A brilliant pianistic talent who tempers his performance with genuine musical sensitivity."
A Fulbright Award took him to Italy to study with Wilhelm Kempff. There he received the Prix di Positano for his Beethoven performances.
The U.S. State Department sent Robert Ward on a 10-country tour to premier Samuel Barber's PIANO CONCERTO. The press in Rio de Janeiro noted his "vigorous technique, brilliant style and contagious conviction that drew a tremendous response from the audience."
In 1997 he founded Concerto*Fest*Austria where he conducts the Wiener Residenz Orchester in elegant palace concerts. A recent press review observed, "Under the baton of American conductor Robert Ward the Wiener Residenz Orchester responded not only with energy and precision but with great musical sensitivity."
With a colleague from the Paris Conservatoire he founded the BRATISLAVA Piano Week 2015 for the study of solo repertoire. In August 2016, on an invitation by the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society he will present a week of master classes in Russia.
Robert Ward has taught at the University of Southern California and at UCLA. Since 1990 he has served on the piano faculty at California State University Los Angeles, and in 2005 he joined the California Institute of Technology as Lecturer in Chamber Music.