The notable British pianist, Bernard Roberts, was born in Manchester, where his mother had been a pupil of Egon Petri, and where his father was on the music staff of "The Manchester Guardian". He won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he later became a piano professor for many years and still retains a visiting professorship.
Bernard Roberts has long been acknowledged as one of Britain's leading pianists His repertoire ranges from the early classics to the great works of the 20th century and his profound L.v. Beethoven interpretations have received particular acclaim. He has performed at all the major British festivals and has been associated with the Dartington International Summer School for many years. His international career takes him throughout Europe, America and the Far East and he has given master-classes at many leading festivals including the Van Cliburn Piano Institute in Fort Worth Texas. Teaching and performing commitments takes him regularly to Denmark and Germany. In addition to his recital work, Bernard Roberts often appears as concerto soloist with leading orchestras here and abroad.
As well as his solo and recording career, Bernard Roberts has always reserved time for chamber music playing. From 1975 until 1984 he was a member of the renowned Parikian, Fleming, Roberts Trio. He has often been heard as a chamber player with ensembles such as the Chilingirian String Quartet, the Wind Soloists of the English Chamber Orchestra, and with the violinists Norbert Brainin and Nona Liddell. Bernard Roberts and his two sons Andrew (violin) and Nicholas (cello) have been performing as a piano trio for many years in Great Britain and Europe. Their performances on London's South Bank and at the Wigmore Hall have always been highly acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. As one of its special projects, the Bernard Roberts Piano Trio played all of L.v. Beethoven's works for piano trio at the Dartington International Summer School in 1997.
A particularly profound interpreter of L.v. Beethoven, Bernard Roberts' recording of the complete L.v. Beethoven Piano Sonatas for Nimbus has been given the highest praise in Europe and America as well as in UK. He made history by recording the first 'direct-to-disc' L.v. Beethoven cycle for Nimbus in the late 1970's and then went on to record the first CD cycle. He recently made history again with a DVD recital in the Nimbus Foundation concert hall and there are plans to complete the L.v. Beethoven Sonata cycle in that format. He is also noted for his recordings of the music of J.S. Bach. Roberts' recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2, performed on piano, was released in 1999 by Nimbus Records and was well-received. He also has recorded Bach's Six Partitas, and his French Suites. In collaboration with other performers, Roberts has released discs of music for one and two pianos by Paul Hindemith and of trios by Frank Bridge. He is by now well known to Radio 3 listeners and he has been the subject of a 40-minute television documentary made for BBC2 by the director Mischa Scorer.
His hobbies include walking, bird-watching, model railways and reading, particularly history and philosophy.