Robert grew up in Perth Western Australia where he learnt to play by ear from his mentors, Mick Doherty and Sean Doherty (no relation). Mick hails from a long line of travelling fiddle players, storytellers and tinsmiths from Donegal. His Uncle, the renowned Johnny Doherty featured on Ireland’s RTE documentary “The Fiddler On The Road.”
At age seventeen Robert moved to Ireland and spent fourteen years on the west coast, learning and immersing himself in the traditional music of the older players. He met and played with musicians including P.J. and Martin Hayes and was ten years with one of his most loved mentors Andy Davey, father of Junior Davey and master of the Sligo style.
Robert taught for three years at the Galway School of Traditional Irish Music and in the year 2000 he won Ireland’s Michael Coleman Traditional Fiddle Player of the year Award. He has toured in both the USA and Europe and played at Fairbridge Festival, National Folk Festival in Canberra, Turning Wave Festival, Flybynite Musicians Club and recently was guest soloist with the Perth Chamber Orchestra.
In 2013 Robert and Mick Doherty recorded their debut Album “Out West” released by the National Library of Australia to preserve the musical legacy of Mick’s family. Rob, a highly regarded luthier, continues to teach fiddle and has his own album due to be released in May.
Robert Zielinski and phil Waldron live in the flyby by night musicians club. The Fantastic Reel set.