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Musical World

Stephen Roberts

  • Baritone

Biography

In addition, Stephen Roberts’s large discography includes works like Carmina Burana with Chailly and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Nielson’s Symphony no. 3 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Bryden Thomson, Elgar’s Caractacus and The Apostles with Richard Hickox as well as Vaughan William’s Sea Symphony, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the late Sir John Pritchard. His releases also include the premier recording of Dyson’s Canterbury Pilgrims for Chandos with Richard Hickox, Stravinsky songs for Virgin Records, Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music with Sir Roger Norrington for EMI, two CD’s of English Song (including Vaughan-Williams, Butterworth, Finzi and Parry) for GMN. He is soon to release through Prelude Records with the pianist Terrence Allbright a CD of Somervell’s “Maud”, and the first known recording of several early compositions by Herbert Howells.

He has worked with many groups specialising in authentic performance techniques under such conductors as Sir Roger Norrington and John Eliot Gardiner, as well as many recordings of plainsong and the very early vocal repertory of various countries. With the group Pro Cantione Antiqua he has toured India, Japan and Hong Kong, and has also visited several countries in Europe and Central America with the vocal group The Amaryllis Consort, of which he is a founder member.

Concerts abroad have included a tour of Spain with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Libor Pesek in Mahler’s Symphony no. 8, Zemlinski’s Lyric Symphony in Rome with Chailly, and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Paris with Sir Simon Rattle. He also took part in Penderecki’s St Luke Passion in Palermo and Vienna with the composer conducting, having already recorded the work for Decca after a televised BBC “Prom” performance. He has made several visits to Hong Kong, including performances of Mahler, Fauré, Berlioz and Walton with David Atherton, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 in Poland with Semkov and in Lisbon with the Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa, Handel’s Messiah in Madrid, Bach’s Mass in B minor in Tokyo with René Jacobs conducting, as well as on tour in France, and Stravinsky’s Pribaoutki with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society.

In the United Kingdom, Stephen has sung Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Carmina Burana with the RPO and the CBSO, Elgar’s The Kingdom and The Apostles and Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony with the RLPO and Vernon Handley, and Mendelssohn’s St Paul with the RSNO. He also returned to Scotland for performances of Carmina Burana with the RSNO and Jervi, as well as concerts with the Hallé, the RLPO and the ECO, and took part in a televised Christmas Concert from St Paul’s Cathedral. More recent engagements have included recitals and concerts in Israel and Mexico, concert performances of Tippett’s King Priam and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde under Atherton, Delius's A Village Romeo and Juliet in Munich under Vernon Handley, and Strauss’s Elektra under Weller, Stravinsky’s Renard with the Birmingham Contemporary Ballet and Rattle, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Slatkin and the Philharmonia Orchestra in Istanbul as well as concerts with the ECO, the Academy of St Martin’s, the RLPO, RSNO, the National Youth Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra in places as far afield as Mexico, Spoleto, Holland, South Africa, Aldeburgh and London.