Robert Franenberg was born in Los Angeles, California, USA and started playing the contrabass at the age of 10. In 1981 he received the degree Bachelor of Music cum laude from the California State University, Northridge. From 1982-1984 he continued his studies with Anthony Woodrow at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Since 1984 Robert Franenberg has been a member of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, choosing in 1986 to work part time there to allow him to deepen his interest in early music. He has been a member of the Orchestra of the 18th Century since 1988 and first played with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging in 1984. Since 1987 he has been the permanent contrabass/violone player of the ensemble. Alongside these ensembles he has performed with The Gabrieli Consort, The Bach Colleguim Japan, De Nederlands Blazers, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, The English Concert and the Dunedin Consort. In May 2015 he performed the Concerto for Contrabass by Johann Baptist Vanhal with the Apollo Ensemble, which was also televised on Brava TV.