CutTime Players

CutTime Players at Detroit Institute of Arts 2012

CutTime Players at Detroit Institute of Arts 2012

CutTime® is the world’s only organization presenting symphonic music as chamber ensemble, creating first steps into orchestras for curious music lovers.

The idea for CutTime Players® (CTP) came as a flash to bassist Rick Robinson. He was rehearsing Igor Stravinsky’s musical-drama The Soldier’s Tale (Histoire du Soldat) at music school, when he realized that adding flute to this ensemble (violin, bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion) might allow chamber transcriptions of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks. While a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Robinson made the opportunity in 1994 to test the idea.

Birth of a Genre

The instant success of this trial with principal DSO musicians initially led to numerous local concerts, unique variety programs, several collaborations and touring. For this new ensemble (a mixed-octet), Robinson created a library of nearly 100 famous symphonic, piano and crossover hits— perfect for sharing the orchestra beyond the concert hall.
Rich and lively works such as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Comedian’s Suite, the Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 and several whole movements from major symphonies are refreshed and made intimate in chamber music form.

CutTime Players has a single CD called Live in Dearborn.

The original Detroit Symphony Orchestra members of CutTime Players are:

Sharon Sparrow, flute
Ted Oien, clarinet
Bob Williams, bassoon
Kevin Good, trumpet
Randy Hawes, bass trombone
Sam Tundo, percussion
Geof Applegate, violin
Rick Robinson, bass



CutTime Players showcases symphony orchestras within intimate settings; featuring what they play, the people who play in them and the work process. The flexible instrumentation covers the three main eras of classical music (Baroque, Classical, Romantic). We collaborate often and from 1997-2000 produced the Tiny Tots series for DSO, working with narrators, mimes, giant puppets and dance companies. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s pivotal Letter from Birmingham Jail  and the
I Have A Dream speech, accompanying both with enhancing music in 2003.

CutTime Players has also been ideal for music education with school presentations for student assemblies, often followed by breakout instrumental workshops including masterclasses and sectionals with music students. Players resets the context for classical music and high standards both personally and universally, inspiring young musicians to practice better and preparing all to attend orchestra concerts.


Since CutTime founder and artistic director Rick Robinson resigned from DSO in 2012,
he leads both CutTime ensembles with orchestral, freelance, student musicians.
Mr. CutTime, as he’s now called, discovers, creates, guides and inspires opportunities to effectively inform new listeners and potentially build loyal new audience.