Robert L. Edwards, Conductor, Consultant, Photographer



During the second decade of his career, from 1986 to 1997, Mr. Edwards transitioned from Conductor to the computer arts, serving as Director of Computer Operations for the investment banking firm Needham & Company based in New York City. Mr. Edwards helped establish and maintain Needham’s branch offices in Boston, Massachusetts and the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 1997, Mr. Edwards became Senior Project Manager for Openet, a computer support company focused on the financial sector.

In 2002, Mr. Edwards became a private consultant, developing websites primarily for the medical industry.

Needham & Company Computer Operations

Openet Management

For nearly 11 years, Mr. Edwards served as Director of Computer Operations for Needham & Company, Inc. a New York City-based investment firm on Park Avenue. He managed the computer operation as Needham grew from 18 PCs to over 150 with branch offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Menlo Park, California.

During the early years, Mr. Edwards was able to reduce costs by building some of the computers Needham used and providing in-house training on both computers and software.

Mr. Edwards leadership provided Needham with ongoing cost savings as he managed and maintained the computer and software inventory while the firm established its presence on both coasts and increased its visibility in the investment banking community.


Drawing on the management skills he developed at Needham & Company, Mr. Edwards began working with Openet as a Senior Project Manager for a broad range of clients.

Openet was an ideal partnership: A visionary (Bill Hobrecht) and an organizer (Geoff Hooks). It takes a dreamer and a doer to make cutting-edge technology work right. Bill related quickly to, and embraced evolving technology. Geoff maintained more lists than Santa Claus. The employees were all highly-skilled technicians, most of whom referred to themselves as "Russian speaking peoples."

Openet, Inc. provided Systems Integration, Application Development, Y2K Testing and Remediation, Web Design, Knowledge Management, Market Data Analysis and Ongoing Technical Support.


The data appears to support the concept that, for whatever reason, musicians are drawn to computers. The number of computer professionals who have a background in music is astounding. In Mr. Edwards case, there was never an affinity for mathematics, but there was a mysterious draw to computers that began within the first month that IBM released its first (dual floppy - no hard drive) PC and extended to building custom computers for his employers and himself.

Mr. Edwards began designing websites shortly after corporations began to explore the commercial aspects of the Internet. He designed one of the first online auction sites and re-built the front end of an online brokerage site. And then there was this:

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