Elizabeth Roberts, Bassoon

The Ann Saunders Roberts Chair


Elizabeth Roberts, Principal Bassoon and Director of Youth Education for the Charlottesville Symphony since 2001, joined the faculty at the University of Virginia the same year.  She became the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s contrabassoonist in 2017, and has played Second Bassoon with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra since 2015.  Ms. Roberts freelances on bassoon and contrabassoon with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, National Philharmonic, Maryland Lyric Opera, and the Richmond Symphony.  In early 2023 she served as Guest Principal Bassoon with the Washington National Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra, and toured with the latter to Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Roberts is a 2008 Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts nominee, and has given world premiere performances of works by Arthur Weisberg, Bernard Rands, Barbara York, Michael Daugherty, Gary Schocker, and Walter Ross.  Ms. Roberts has performed as a soloist with the Charlottesville Symphony, the Roanoke Symphony, the Harid Conservatory Orchestra and the Waynesboro Orchestra, and was invited to perform as a soloist and chamber musician at the International Double Reed Society conference in 2010 (OK), 2013 (CA), 2014 (NY), and 2017 (WI).  Ms. Roberts can be heard on recordings with the Virginia Symphony Night Owl (Night Owl by Michael Daugherty), Sound of the Sun (Urlicht by Gustav Mahler and The Imagined Sound of Sun on Stone – Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra by Sally Beamish); the Baltimore Symphony (Color Field by Anna Clyne, and Dance for Cello and Orchestra by Anna Clyne) and The City (Marimba Concerto by Kevin Puts); the Richmond Symphony Inspired by Walt Whitman (Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams); and the New World Symphony’s New World Jazz (Lollapalooza by John Adams).

Ms. Roberts was the Visiting Assistant Professor of Bassoon at the University of Missouri for the 2013-2014 academic year, and was a member of the New England Music Camp faculty during the summers of 2017-2022.  Ms. Roberts has taught bassoon, reed making, and chamber music in the Charlottesville, VA area since 2001, and has performed and taught at the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival (VA), Beyond the Notes (UVA), where she served as Artistic Director, Music Mind and Reading (NC), the Cascade Festival of Music (OR) and the Coastal Youth Symphony Camp (GA), where she served as Program Director.  She is a Music Advisor for Crozet Arts. Ms. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Illinois, a Professional Studies Diploma and a Bachelor of Music from the Harid Conservatory, and a Master of Music from the University of Southern California, where she was elected to both Pi Kappa Lambda and USC Presidential Fellows, and received the Dean’s Special Commendation.  Her principal teachers were Arthur Weisberg, Stephen Maxym, and Frank Morelli.  She has pursued additional studies on bassoon with Nancy Goeres and on contrabassoon with Lew Lipnick and Holly Blake.  In her spare time she enjoys working in the yard, biking, hiking, taking long walks with her fiancé and spending time with her parents at their home along the Rappahannock.  Ms. Roberts performs on a 9000 series Heckel bassoon and a Fox Fast System contrabassoon.

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