Paul Roberts


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 worldwide. ‘His communicative abilities, whether as performer, writer or teacher, are without equal,’ wrote Harold Gray, the founder of Portland Piano International. Invited every year to Portland’s summer festival since its inception in 1999, Paul Roberts has established a unique profile in America, where he regularly performs, gives master classes and private tuition. He has been a guest of the Juilliard School in New York, the Peabody Institute, the Golandsky Institute, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the University of Washington; and he has performed at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in
New York.

In London Roberts teaches at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship (FGS). He is currently researching his next book, Reading Liszt, in which he will illuminate the literary inspiration underlying many of Liszt’s major piano works. His acclaimed Reflections: The Piano Music of Maurice Ravel (Amadeus, 2012) followed two books on Debussy: 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,’ the American pianist Richard Goode has written, ‘and is one of the few indispensable books on music that I know.’

Recordings include 2 discs of Debussy, a DVD lecture-recital Mists, Fairies and Fireworks on Debussy’s Preludes (Amadeus Press); and lectures for television, from the keyboard, of La mer and Ravel’s Bolero (Medici TV), which have been seen all over the world. His recording of Ravel’s Miroirs has just been released, along with Ravel’s Jeux d’eau and Liszt’s Les jeux d’eaux à La Ville d’Este. ‘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.’

More on Paul Roberts, with details of his books, CDs and DVDS, can be found at

Hear Paul Roberts play Debussy....

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