"..Roberts' beautifully expressive tone … offering countless felicities of phrasing …. powerful and projecting.."
"Roberts… playing of spell-binding atmosphere…"
BBC Music Magazine
Rachel Roberts performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. As soloist she has collaborated with conductors Christoph von Dohnanyi, Andras Schiff, Richard Hickox and Martyn Brabbins performing concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Kammerphilharmonie Graubunden in Switzerland and Manchester Camerata Chamber Orchestra amongst others. She was the featured viola soloist in the BBC TV documentary "The Passions of Vaughan Williams", 2008, performing 'Flos Campi' with Richard Hickox and the Philharmonia orchestra in Cadogan Hall in London.
Highlights of this season include a live BBC Radio 3 recitals from the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall and Champs Hill with the London Conchord Ensemble, live Deutschlandfunk broadcasts with the Tetzlaff Quartet in Germany, a solo CD release of Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata, Britten's Lachrymae and Shostakovich viola sonata with pianist Lars Vogt, and looking ahead into May 2015 sees tour of Japan with Christian Tetzlaff, Florian Donderer, Antoine Tamestit, Lars Vogt, Marie-Elizabeth Hecker and Tania Tetzlaff performing string sextets, string quintets, piano quintets and piano quartets.
As chamber musician Rachel Roberts has appeared at the Musikverein (Grand Saal) Vienna; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Alte Oper, Frankfurt; Wigmore Hall; Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall, St.John's Smith Square and King's Place; London. She performs at international festivals such as Salzburg Festival, Wiener Festwoche, Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Heimbach "Spannungen" in Germany, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Hamburg "Oestertone", Hindsgavl in Denmark, Lofoten in Norway and Stift in Holland. As chamber musician she has collaborated with Christian Tetzlaff, Isabelle Faust, Lars Vogt, Steven Osborne, Lisa Batiashvili, Pekka Kuusisto, Carolin Widmann, Renaud and Gautier Capucon, Steven Isserlis, Alban Gerhard, Alina Ibragimova and Yura Lee.
Prizes for Rachel Roberts' chamber music recordings include the Diapason D'or in France, Supersonic Award of Pizzicato Magazine in Luxemburg and CD of the month in Fonoforum Magazine in Germany. Her recording of Brahms Viola Sonatas and Schumann "Marchenbilder", with pianist Lars Vogt, was well received internationally and was awarded the "Supersonic Prize" by Pizzicato Magazine in Luxembourg.
Rachel Roberts is a dedicated teacher. She is Professor of Viola at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has given masterclasses at the Britten Pears Young Artists Programme, Dartington International Summer School, Chethams School of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire.
"Since my earliest memories of dancing to music and playing the piano with my mother and sister at two and three years old, I've felt a strong and deep connection to music. There have been moments of sheer joy at sharing the delight of playing, and moments of despair and agonising frustration at searching for a sound or expression and not quite finding it.
In 2005 I had an accident and was told I would never play the viola again. It was a dark and frightening time but I recovered at a rate that astonished the physiotherapists and doctors. I returned to playing professionally within six months. Ironically this was one of the most wonderful periods of my life, like an epiphany. My heart seemed to be breaking open to a deep knowledge that music is not only a tremendous gift to me, from within the deepest part of who I am, and that I need to respond to it with humility and gratitude, but that I need to live it as fully as I possibly can – that it's my life.
Since then I've discovered my philosophy around music and art of any kind; that these creative pursuits offer a channel to connect to our deepest selves, down to our roots and our nature. Music has the power to touch and stir something in us which can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves, of our lives and our choices. Great art resonates with something so fundamental to human nature that it can touch us at any age, through centuries and across continents, despite changing eras, shifts of culture and politics. If we're courageous enough to listen with open hearts, both to music and our responses to it, our lives become rich and colourful in a lasting way."