The Hungarian-born Australian conductor and violinist, violist and teacher, Robert Pikler, studied with Eugene Ormandy and with Jenő Hubay (himself a student of Joachim) in Budapest, and with Jacques Thibaud in Paris.
Robert Pikler came to Australia in 1946, and became an influential figure in many aspects of the development of music in this country. Originally a violinist, he was asked by Sir Eugène Goossens to lead the viola section of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a position he held from 1952 to 1966. He was also involved in the formation of Musica Viva and in the early 1960's, when he was a senior lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he formed the original Sydney String Quartet. He also taught at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music. He was regarded by many as the leading string player in Australia and among those he trained were players of the calibre of John Harding, Bill Hennessy and Jimmy Lin. Later he was conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He officially retired in 1971, at only 62 years of age, when he could still meet his own standards of good music, as he said.