Jeremy Dale Roberts, 16th May 1934 - 11th July 2017
News: A Concert in Celebration of Jeremy's life and work was held at the Royal Academy of Music on 22nd April 2018, to co-incide with the release of a new cd of his pieces Tombeau (1966-69), Capriccio (1965) and the String Quintet (2012, rev. 2014). The cd is available on the Toccata label (TOCC 0487).
On 29th September 2018 there will be a chance to hear a performance of Jeremy's Suite for Flute and Strings (1958, rev. 2011) at All Saints Arts Centre, Friar's Walk, Lewes BN7 2LE.
Jeremy Dale Roberts was born in Gloucestershire in 1934 and studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music with William Alwyn and Priaulx Rainier before taking a degree in music at the University of Durham.
His compositions have been performed worldwide at the Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals, the Venice Biennale, the Diorama de Geneve, and the festivals of Avignon and Paris. They include the Cello Concerto - 'Deathwatch' written for Rohan de Saram; Tombeau for Stephen Kovacevich; Croquis for string trio, written for members of the Arditti Quartet (BBC commission); In the Same Space, nine poems of Constantin Cavafy, written for Stephen Varcoe; Lines of Life, lyric episodes for ensemble, written for Lontano (BBC commission); and 'Casidas y Sonetos - del amor oscuro' , for solo guitar (Arts Council commission) for Charles Ramirez. He also worked frequently with Peter Sheppard-Skaerved and the Kreutzer Quartet, most recently on the String Quintet (2013).
Jeremy Dale Roberts’s music has been described as 'deeply personal, visionary, conveying his own distinctive creative voice'. Occasionally it displays a taste for unconventional, sometimes exotic media: for instance, the Hamadryad for alto flute, viola and guitar; the large sequence of pieces for gamelan entitled Stelae; and the Nightpiece for soprano and two bass viols, commissioned by Evelyn Tubb. But he has also written a good deal for his own instrument, the piano, most notably the Oggetti – omaggio à Morandi, inspired by the still-lifes of the great 20th century Italian artist.
As well as composition, he was active as a teacher for many years, notably at Morley College, the Royal College of Music (1966-98, latterly as Head of Composition) and as Visiting Professor of Composition at the University of Iowa (1999-2000, 2004). Other activities included work for the Finzi Trust and the RVW Trust, and extensive editorial work on the published editions of Gerald Finzi’s music. His interests included the fine arts, literature, gardening and travelling: shortly after graduating he spent two years in Cameroon, and in more recent years he travelled to Mexico, Russia, Korea, South-East Asia, and Ladakh, as well as being a regular visitor to South Africa.
He was married for over fifty years to Paulette, (née Zwahlen), a shiatsu practitioner, whom he met at Ashmansworth, the home of the Finzi family. Their two children, Antoinette and Luke, provided them with three grandchildren, Zoe and Mia and Finley.