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Tributes are paid to pianist Bernard Roberts

Tributes are paid to pianist Bernard Roberts

TRIBUTES have been paid to the pianist Bernard Roberts who has passed away at the age of 80.

Mr. Roberts was regarded as one of Britain’s leading pianists. His repertoire ranged from the classics to contemporary music and he performed across the world in both concerts and with leading orchestras.

Born in Manchester, Mr. Roberts inherited a love for the piano from his mother who had been a pupil of Egon Petri. The young Roberts won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music and made his debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 1957, performing Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

His interpretations of Bach and Beethoven were particularly acclaimed — captured on many well-received recordings. These included the complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas which he recorded direct to disc for the Nimbus label (see below). Among his other recordings was Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues.

Mr. Roberts was also a much-loved chamber musician and for many years he performed with violinist Manoug Parikian and cellist Amaryllis Fleming in what became a celebrated trio. In recent years he formed a trio with his sons Andrew (violin) and Nicholas (cello).

As well as performing, Mr. Roberts also found time for teaching — giving masterclasses for many years at the Dartington International Summer School and at leading festivals.

Away from music, Mr. Roberts enjoyed a number of hobbies, including model railways and bird-watching.

He is survived by his wife Caroline and his sons Andrew and Nicholas from his first marriage.

To see footage of Mr. Roberts performing the ‘Waldstein’ sonata from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 21 in C major, click here.

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