Concert pianist, writer, lecturer, inspiring teacher

Paul Roberts is an exceptional musician, a fine and deeply sensitive pianist, teacher and an author of the greatest distinction. His books on Debussy and Ravel are quite simply the most outstanding and perceptive I have read. I felt privileged to review the Ravel book recently in the Gramophone magazine  

Bryce Morrison

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

Dazzling and richly informed, the pages of Roberts' new book Reading Franz Liszt positively fizz with ballast

International Piano Magazine

I applaud this generously illustrated book, Images, which is a significant contribution to our understanding of the literary and artistic influences on Debussy’s piano works. This is a task that few pianists would be up to  

Charles Timbrell

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 world wide. 'Paul Roberts' master classes and public lectures immerse the listeners in a magical world of images and ideas .  . . His communicative abilities, whether as performer, writer or teacher, are without equal,’  wrote Harold Gray, the founder of Portland Piano International, and director until his retirement in 2013. Invited every year to the summer festival of Portland Piano International since its inception in 1999, Paul Roberts has established a unique profile in Portland, where he regularly performs, gives master classes and private tuition.

Photo - Viktor Erik EmanuelIn Europe Paul Roberts is the artistic director of the international summer school for pianists Music at Chateau d’Aix, in southern France.  In July 2021, and again in 2022, he was invited to give a week of master classes and a lecture recitals at the International Piano Foundation Theo and Petra Lieven in Vienna. 

His new book Reading Franz Liszt was published in June 2022 and launched at the London Piano Festival in October, where he gave a lecture recital on Liszt's Petrarch Sonnets. His acclaimed Reflections: The Piano Music of Maurice Ravel (Amadeus, 2012) followed his first two books: 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,’ Richard Goode has written, ‘and is one of the few indispensable books on music that I know.

Recordings include two discs of Debussy's piano music and his most recent Ravel & Liszt. ‘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.’

Among extensive appearances throughout the United States Paul Roberts has been a guest of the Juilliard School in New York, the Peabody Institute, the Golandsky Institute, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Washington and Portland Piano International. He has presented at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York. 

It has been a fascinating journey reading your book, and I must say it’s not only a book about Ravel, but rather about the sources and states which are required in order to understand the transcendence of this music.
– Patrick Jovell interview, Piano Street, Sweden
I applaud this generously illustrated book, which is a significant contribution to our understanding of the literary and artistic influences on Debussy’s piano works. This is a task that few pianists would be up to.
– Charles Timbrell, Fanfare, USA


Reading Liszt Poster
Reviews June 2022
International Piano Magazine
Liszt's B minor Sonata and Goethe's Faust
The contentious question
Etchingham Festival
Concerts After Covid
Reading Franz Liszt
My new book, Reading Franz Liszt:…
Liszt's Petrarch Sonnets
Liszt's Petrarch Sonnets: The Sound of…
Portland October 2019
Teaching, Master Class, Recital
DEBUSSY: A Painter in Sound
Review by Paul Roberts for International…
IN THE MINDS EYE by Paul Roberts
DEBUSSY CENTENARY article, International…
Vallée d'Obermann
Painting, Literature, and Liszt
Debussy the Gourmand
Fay Maschler of the London Evening…
Music at Chateaux d'Aix 2019
News update June
Paul Roberts plays Ravel and Liszt at Etchingham Festival June 30th
Etchingham Festival Recital
From Memory or Not From Memory?
An interview on memorisation
Paul Roberts CD of Ravel & Liszt
The Fountains of Ravel and Liszt