PAUL ROBERTS

Concert pianist, writer, lecturer, inspiring teacher

Paul Roberts is an exceptional musician, a fine and deeply sensitive pianist, teacher and an author of the greatest distinction. His books on Debussy and Ravel are quite simply the most outstanding and perceptive I have read. I felt privileged to review the Ravel book recently in the Gramophone magazine  

Bryce Morrison

Paul Roberts’ excellence as a writer on music is matched by his superb talents as a pianist. I know of no other figure in the musical world who combines so impressively the roles of scholar and performer  

Richard Goode

I applaud this generously illustrated book, Images, which is a significant contribution to our understanding of the literary and artistic influences on Debussy’s piano works. This is a task that few pianists would be up to  

Charles Timbrell

Pianist, writer, lecturer, inspiring teacher – and a leading authority on the music of Debussy and Ravel – Paul Roberts has earned the admiration of audiences, critics and fellow professionals world wide. 'Paul Roberts' master classes and public lectures immerse the listeners in a magical world of images and ideas .  . . His communicative abilities, whether as performer, writer or teacher, are without equal,’  wrote Harold Gray, the founder of Portland Piano International, and director until his retirement in 2013. Invited every year to the summer festival of Portand Piano International since its inception in 1999, Paul Roberts has established a unique profile in Portland, where he regularly performs, gives master classes and private tuition.

Photo - Viktor Erik EmanuelIn Europe Paul Roberts is the artistic director of the international summer school for pianists Music at Chateau d’Aix, in southern France. In London he teaches at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship (FGS), and where he is currently researching his next book, Reading Liszt.

His acclaimed Reflections: The Piano Music of Maurice Ravel (Amadeus, 2012) followed his first two books: a biography Debussy (Phaidon, 2008) and Images: The Piano Music of Claude Debussy (Amadeus, 1996). Images has become a seminal text on the subject. ‘It is a complete picture of Debussy’s poetic world,’ Richard Goode has written, ‘and is one of the few indispensable books on music that I know.

Recordings include two discs of Debussy's piano music and his most recent Ravel & Liszt. ‘Roberts doesn’t play like an Englishman,’ wrote a critic for BBC Music Magazine on the release of his first Debussy disc. ‘Space, concentration and fire take their turns in this fine start to a Debussy cycle. He characterises directly and, at speed, fiercely. In slower music there is unhurried poise and fluidity.’

Among extensive appearances throughout the United States Paul Roberts has been a guest of the Juilliard School in New York, the Peabody Institute, the Golandsky Institute, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Washington and Portland Piano International. He has presented at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York. 


He makes a good impression on this disc (Debussy volume 1), particularly in the extroverted pieces. And ‘La cathédrale engloutie’ is exceptionally well planned and executed, making it one of the best versions I know. ‘Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut’ shows this pianist’s tonal sensitivity and musical empathy.
– Charles Timbrell, Fanfare, USA
His sensitive approach to the sublime music of Debussy and Ravel, and his illuminating explanations of the relationship between the two composers and their music, were utterly fascinating. Roberts seems to give each piece precisely the perspective it wants, with particular emphasis on expressivity and clarity.. . . It was easily one of the best recitals I’ve been to this year, and I could have listened for another hour.
– Brett Campbell, Oregon Arts Watch

NEWS

Portland October 2019
Teaching, Master Class, Recital
DEBUSSY: A Painter in Sound
Review by Paul Roberts for International…
IN THE MINDS EYE by Paul Roberts
DEBUSSY CENTENARY article, International…
Vallée d'Obermann
Painting, Literature, and Liszt
Reading Liszt
Reading Liszt is due in 2020
Debussy the Gourmand
Fay Maschler of the London Evening…
Music at Chateaux d'Aix 2019
News update June
Paul Roberts plays Ravel and Liszt at Etchingham Festival June 30th
Etchingham Festival Recital
From Memory or Not From Memory?
An interview on memorisation
Paul Roberts CD of Ravel & Liszt
The Fountains of Ravel and Liszt