Robert Newell was born 18 May 1949 in Blandinsville, Illinois and received his early training at Interlochen, Michigan and at the University of Illinois (M.M.). He later studied at Tanglewood, Massachusetts, Yale Summer School and the Paris Conservatory. His composition teachers include Salvatore Martirano, Kenneth Gaburo, Lukas Foss, Aaron Copland, Gunther Shculler and Olivier Messiaen. His prize-winning work "Ryo-nen" was presented by the Tokyo Phiharmonic orchestra and chorus. He has taught at the University of Illinois, California State University, Chapman College and Ohio University. His works can be heard on Advance Records and the SCI Record Series; they are published by Boston Music, Fred Bock Music, Media Press, Hinshaw Music and the National Music Publishers.