Rachel Roberts

Image by Kaupo Kikkas

Rachel Roberts is one of Europe’s leading violists and performs internationally as a soloist and chamber musician.

As a soloist she has collaborated with conductors Christoph von Dohnanyi, Andras Schiff and Richard Hickox, performing concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Koln Kammerorchester, Kammerphilharmonie Graubunden in Switzerland and the Manchester Camerata Chamber Orchestra amongst others. She was the featured viola soloist in the BBC TV documentary ‘The Passions of Vaughan Williams’ with Richard Hickox and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and has performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante alongside violinists Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas and Benjamin Schmid in Germany, Switzerland and London.

Rachel enjoys a busy schedule of chamber music. She has appeared as chamber musician at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Musikverein (Grand Saal) Vienna, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall, St John’s Smith Square and King’s Place in London. She is a regular guest at international chamber music festivals such as Salzburg Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Heimbach “Spannungen”, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Hamburg “Oestertone”, Lofoten in Norway, and Stift in Holland.

Rachel is the violist of award-winning chamber music group Ensemble 360, with whom she gives frequent performances at Sheffield’s Crucible Playhouse as well as other venues across South Yorkshire. She regularly performs and records with Wigmore Soloists and Nash Ensemble, involving regular appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, and has appeared with other celebrated ensembles such as the Tetzlaff String Quartet. Prizes for her chamber music recordings include thrice being awarded the coveted Diapason d’Or (2009, 2021, 2023), BBC Chamber Choice in BBC Music Magazine, and CD of the month in Fonoforum magazine, Germany. She has recorded chamber music for Hyperion, Champs Hill Records, Signum Classics, cAVI, Deutsche Rundfunk and BIS Records.

Following the success of her second solo CD (Schubert, Britten and Shostakovich) with pianist Lars Vogt on the cAVI label, Rachel Roberts has frequently joined Lars Vogt, Christian Tetzlaff, Antje Weithaas and Isabelle Faust for further chamber music collaborations, both in Germany and the UK.

Building on their highly successful collaboration at Wigmore Hall, in 2021 Rachel joined Christian Tetzlaff, Florian Donderer, Marie Elisabeth Hecker and Tanja Tetzlaff in Germany, to record and perform Schubert’s String Quintet in C major, D. 956. The resulting disc was released on the Alpha Classics label to critical acclaim.

Rachel is also a member of Trio Meister Raro alongside pianist Tim Horton and clarinettist Robert Plane, performing a selection of acknowledged masterpieces and fascinating curiosities, with a particular focus on themes of storytelling and fantasy.

Rachel Roberts is Professor of Viola at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has given masterclasses in the UK, Europe and Scandinavia. She holds the Institute of Education qualification: Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher and Professional Education and many of her students are now enjoying professional careers in the UK and abroad.

“… Roberts’ beautifully expressive tone … offering countless felicities of phrasing … powerful and projecting…” The Strad Magazine

“… an abundance of colour and variety, Roberts’ playing is brilliantly demonstrative and engaging … a keen understanding of emotional content…” AllMusic

“Roberts… playing of spell-binding atmosphere…” BBC Music Magazine

“… a stunning recording…” Presto Classical 

“vivid performance” The Guardian