Robert studied piano with the great Russian teacher Tamara Osborn, herself a pupil of Artur Schnabel in Berlin between the wars. Always an improvisor, Robert's jazz studies developed in parallel with his classical studies. Since the eighties, he has worked as a pianist on the contemporary jazz scene in the UK. Composing has played an increasingly important part of his musical activities.
Over the years Robert  has performed in many different settings: past jazz projects include a long-standing duo with the saxophonist Andy Panayi, 'free improv.' work with drummer Ken Hyder, composing collaborations with Lammas guitarist Don Paterson, with whom he worked in the band River Crossing.  In 1987 he formed the popular fusion band The Breeze with Tim Garland, Richard Edwards, Shanti Jayasinha and Marc Parnell.  The  band's album 'Joy'   was recorded in 1990.  
Current projects include the Robert Carter Trio with Tim Wells (bass) and Mark Fletcher (drums). The Robert Carter Quintet  is formed of the trio plus Andy Panayi (saxes) and Martin Shaw (trumpet).
The Trio's debut album 'Coincidence'  was released on Flame Records in 1999. Robert followed this with an album of contemporary jazz for solo piano, 'Nowhere To Hide' . recorded in 2003. The Quintet's work is represented by a demo CD 'Comparing Notes',  which features many of Robert's  compositions. A second trio CD ‘That’s Just It’  was released in 2013.

Apart from composing over 85 works for many different jazz groups, Robert has written music for films and television, and has worked as a musical director, both in television and the theatre.
Robert's influences are wide-ranging ... among them are Olivier Messiaen, Robert Schumman, South African township music, Glenn Gould, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor ...