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Robby Steinhardt

violinist for Kansas

Robby Steinhardt

Robert Eugene Steinhardt was born on May 25, 1950; his birthplace and the names of his birth parents are unknown. Adopted when he was four days old, he grew up in Michigan and Ohio before his family settled in Lawrence, Kansas, where his father became chairman of the Music History Department at the University of Kansas.

Steinhardt began studying classical violin at age 8, in Vienna, where his father spent a year as a Fulbright scholar. He attended Lawrence High School, and worked as a concertmaster at summer art camps during his teen years. When he was 15 the family went to Vienna again, and Robby played with several European orchestras before returning to the United States. He put the violin down for two years while in college, but picked it up again in 1971 when he joined White Clover, a Lawrence bar band.

White Clover renamed itself Kansas in 1974, and released its debut album, Kansas, that same year. The band achieved star status with the release of its Leftoverture album in 1976, followed by Point of Know Return in 1977. Steinhardt's violin was an integral part of Kansas's success until 1982, when he left the band for unspecified personal reasons. He subsequently fronted his own band, Steinhardt-Moon, and was a member of Stormbringer Band, with which he recorded two albums, from 1990 to 1996. He rejoined Kansas in 1997, but left again in 2006, this time for good. He has not been a member of any other band since.


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This page was last updated on 09/23/2017.