SAN ANTONIO – David Robinson has helped place San Antonio on the map as a basketball city. But now he is lending his name to another passion: music.
The Spurs legend was named honorary chair of the 2020 Gurwitz International Piano Competition, which will take place in San Antonio on Jan. 27-Feb. 1.
“I'm honored to support San Antonio's musical community in this effort,” Robinson, who grew up playing piano and currently plays flute daily, said in a video released by the competition.
He added the competition is “raising the bar for the performing arts as we attract the best and brightest emerging talent from across the globe.”
The competition will host top pianists from China, Russia, Canada, Italy and the United States between the ages of 18 and 32. They will compete through four rounds of classical compositions.
The fourth round, which is the grand finale, will include the San Antonio Symphony and will be performed at the Tobin Center.
For Robinson, the chance to act as honorary chair extends his love for piano and music — what he calls “an incredibly important part of my family's life.”
“My grandfather taught my dad and all his sisters and brothers how to play music, and it was something I was expected to learn,” he said in the video. “And music adds a certain color to your life, and for me, I think I needed that outlet.”
Robinson has played piano, bass guitar and saxophone over the years, but now he's found a passion for the flute.
"It's my joy now, my little flute," he said. "I play it every day."
As a two-time NBA champion and 10-time All-Star, Robinson said music has given him balance because he’s otherwise “very engineering, focused” and “logical.”
Anya Grokhovski, artistic director and CEO of Musical Bridges Around the World, said Robinson’s contribution “elevates awareness and importance of this competition on the global stage.”