Bernard Roberts, who died in 2013 at the age of 80, was long acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading pianists. A particularly profound interpreter of Beethoven, his recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas for Nimbus has been given the highest praise in Europe and America as well as in this country. More recently recording the complete Preludes and Fugues of J S Bach has been an enormous and rewarding undertaking and this 4CD set is now released and is attracting critical acclaim.
He performed at all the major British festivals and was associated with the Dartington International Summer School for many years. His international career took him throughout Europe, America and the Far East and he has given masterclasses at many leading festivals including the Van Cliburn Piano Institute in Fort Worth, Texas. Highly regarded as a teacher as well as a performer, his teaching and playing commitments took him on regular visits to France, Germany and Denmark. He retained a Visiting Professorship at the Royal College of Music in London.
In addition to his recital work, Bernard Roberts often appeared as concerto soloist with leading orchestras here and abroad. He was well known to Radio 3 listeners and he was the subject of a 40-minute documentary made for BBC2 by the director Mischa Scorer. Time was set aside each year for chamber music and he particularly enjoywed performing the piano trio repertoire with his sons Andrew and Nicholas.