His father was the composer and radio tenor Joseph White, and both his parents were of Irish descent. Robert White himself
started performing on the radio at age 6, specializing in Irish folk songs. At age 12, he already sang hits from the light
tenor repertory like "Ah, sweet mystery of life". Beginning with his own father, he had a lot of voice teachers in various
places in the US and in Europe; his most important teacher was Beverley Peck Johnson at the Juilliard School.
His adult career started in 1959 on a quite prominent level: he stepped in for a sick colleague in that St. John's Passion that
was traditionally attributed to Händel (but is probably by Georg Böhm) – at Carnegie Hall, with the New York
Philharmonic, and under Leonard Bernstein's baton.
White became a concert tenor, singing a lot of Händel and Bach, but also Das Lied von der Erde or Mozart's
Requiem. He spent his career basically in New York, singing on every possible occasion and in every possible venue – an
incredibly long career that lasted into the 2010s.
In opera, he appeared but very rarely; for example as Ladislav in Smetana's Dvě vdovy at the Wexford Festival 1978. From
1986, he taught voice at the Manhattan School of Music, and from 1991 at the Juilliard School.
Reference 1; reference 2: White's website
Picture source: Bach Cantatas