Interview Date: April 29, 2013
Conservatory Affiliation: First Classical Guitar Student
Interviewer: Tessa Updike, Archivist

Robert Symmonds was born in 1921 in Seattle, Washington. His father was a stockbroker and a businessman, his mother an amateur singer.

Robert's life has been a series of adventures, odd jobs, family, and a love of the guitar. In 1948 he arrived in San Francisco and asked at the Conservatory for music lessons, including classical guitar lessons. At that time the Conservatory did not have a guitar teacher, and so they hired guitarist Clarence Easley to teach Robert.

Our first guitar student, the Conservatory was thrilled to welcome Robert back to visit in 2013, and we are pleased to offer this interview as part of our project.

Transcript PDF

Transcript Topics

Early years
San Francisco and the Conservatory
Clarence Easley and lessons
Life in San Francisco
Southern California
Guitar Whitey
Wife and children
Advice, teaching, and favorite memories

Audio

Early years

San Francisco and the Conservatory

Clarence Easley and lessons

Life in San Francisco

Southern California

Guitar Whitey

Wife and children

Advice, teaching, and favorite memories

Oral history interviews are a method of collecting historical information from a narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. These interviews are primary materials, and by nature reflect the personal opinion of the narrators. As with any primary resource, these interviews are not to be viewed as the final and definitive source for any subject.

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