Born in Cheltenham, England. An early interest in music took him into the record industry, by which time he had realised that he had no future as a performer. This, coupled with an interest in history, led him to undertake the four–year History of Music Diploma as an external student at the University of London. After completing this course with Honours, he became a part–time adult education lecturer, an occupation he found extremely rewarding. By this time he was also working on the extensive manuscript journals of the 18th–century English amateur composer, John Marsh, an undertaking that ultimately resulted in his edited version being published in the United States in 1998. His most recent book is a study of catch and glee culture in 18th–century England. He has also written chapters for two anthologies, essays for scholarly journals and presented papers at academic conferences in addition to contributing entries in the revised New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Aside from academic work, Brian Robins has reviewed early music CDs for a number of major publications, also undertaking editorial work. He is currently a book and record reviewer for Opera (UK). He has broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and was for several years a member of the awards panel of the Stanley Sadie International Handel Recording Prize. An interdisciplinary and contextual approach to the history of the arts is of great importance to him, his wide reading including many aspects of 17th- and 18th-century history.