Robert Murphy grew up in Fremont, Ohio, and began studying the violin at the age of nine with his mother. He later took violin lessons with Paul Makara at Bowling Green State University. While in high school, he soloed with the Columbus Symphony and was the youngest member of the Toledo Symphony, playing along side his parents. He spent summers at Interlochen Center for the Arts and other music camps, including Meadowbrook where James Levine was conductor.
Murphy received a scholarship to the University of Michigan where his violin teacher was Angel Reyes. He spent one summer in Sienna, Italy, where he attended master classes at the Accademia Chigiana studying the violin with Tibor Varga. Murphy earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in performance and education.
After joining the DSO, Murphy continued studying the violin with Mischa Mischakoff and played in string quartet reading sessions with him and other DSO members. He also played for many years in the Young Audience String Quartet, which presented educational concerts in the Detroit-area public schools. He soloed with the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra and toured the Middle East with them.
In addition to performing, Murphy has also enjoyed teaching many violin students over the years. In his spare time, he loves to play golf and travel with his wife and two daughters.