Richard Roberts


Richard Roberts, violinist, completed 40 years of service as concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his Montreal appointment, he was for eight years assistant concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra under conductor Lorin Maazel. At the age of seventeen, he made his debut as soloist with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting. He then pursued studies at Indiana University where he studied violin with Josef Gingold, and chamber music with Janos Starker and William Primrose. He also studied later in Geneva, Switzerland with the celebrated master of the violin, Henryk Szeryng. The artist has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals in Canada, South America, Australia, Mexico, the United States, and Europe, as well as solo performances with the orchestras of Minnesota, Toronto, Detroit, Cleveland, Edmonton, Montreal, Tokyo Sinfonia, and many others. He has performed the entire cycle of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for violin alone at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and was a frequent lecturer in the Cleveland Orchestra pre-concert lecture series. The artist has also served as a guest concertmaster or leader of orchestras in Pittsburgh, Dallas, Melbourne (Australia), Bergen (Norway), National Arts Centre of Canada, and São Paulo OSESP (Brazil). In Montreal, Mr. Roberts has appeared in a variety of solo roles including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra recordings of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Capriccio Espagnol, Elgar’s Falstaff, and many other works. He has been featured as soloist with the MSO on numerous occasions very often in rarely performed works such as the concerti of Richard Strauss, Louis Gruenberg, Robert Schumann, as well as championing works of American and Canadian composers such as David Amram, Jean Coulthard, Alexina Louie, John Rea, and William Schuman. He has also worked closely in performance preparation with composers Aaron Copland, Darius Milhaud, and Olivier Messiaen. He has served as concertmaster of the Bellingham (Washington) Music Festival since 2004 where he as also appeared as frequent soloist in concerti of Beethoven, Dvorak, Mozart and Vaughn-Williams, as well as concertmaster of the Hamptons Festival of Music in New York. He has served on the faculties of many distinguished universities, given master classes throughout the world, and serves as an editor for Ovation Press Music Publishing Company. The season 2022-23 has seen Mr. Roberts as soloist or chamber musician on stages in Canada, the United States, Japan, Korea, and Brazil.