Born: No­vem­ber 3, 1843, Ta­vis­tock, De­von, Eng­land.

Died: No­vem­ber 21, 1920, Mor­gan­ton, North Ca­ro­li­na.

Buried: Ri­ver­side Ce­me­te­ry, Ashe­ville, North Ca­ro­li­na.



Robjohn was the son of org­an build­er Will­iam Rob­john.

The fa­mi­ly moved to New York Ci­ty in 1858, where Will­iam sang so­pra­no at Tri­ni­ty Church. A large­ly self taught mu­si­cian, he be­gan us­ing the pseu­do­nym Car­yl Flo­rio around 1870 due to his fa­mi­ly’s op­po­si­tion to a mu­sic­al ca­reer.

Robjohn became or­gan­ist and choir di­rect­or at Tri­ni­ty Church, New­port; Zi­on Church, New York; and Mt. Cal­va­ry Church. He con­duct­ed opera in Ha­va­na, Cu­ba, and the Aca­de­my of Mu­sic in New York.

He was mu­sic di­rect­or at the Bap­tist Fe­male In­sti­tute in In­di­an­a­po­lis, In­di­a­na, and Wells Col­lege in Au­ro­ra, New York. He al­so con­duct­ed the Vo­cal So­ci­e­ty of New York, the Am­i­ci­tia Or­ches­tra and the Pal­es­tri­na Choir.

In 1896 Rob­john took charge of mu­sic at Bilt­more, the North Ca­ro­li­na es­tate of ty­coon George Van­der­bilt, and con­duct­ed the Ashe­ville Cho­ral So­ci­e­ty. He stayed at Bilt­more un­til 1901, then moved to New York.

After two years, he re­turned to Ashe­ville, where he taught and con­duct­ed cho­rus­es and choirs. He was al­so or­gan­ist and choir­mas­ter at All Souls Church in Bilt­more.

In ad­di­tion to his bet­ter known work as a com­pos­er, Rob­john held se­ver­al pa­tents: for pipe or­gans, a li­quid me­ter, and a me­chan­i­cal cal­cu­lat­ing ma­chine.

Robjohn spent the last few years of his life as a psy­chi­a­tric pa­tient, first at the Ap­pa­la­chi­an Hall san­a­to­ri­um in Ashe­ville, then at the State Hos­pi­tal in Mor­gan­ton.



Help Needed

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Rob­john (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), would you ?