Born in Venice, Italy, Roberto Poli is an eloquent communicator and a rising exponent of the music of Fryderyk Chopin, which he has comprehensively studied through manuscripts and original editions and widely performed throughout the world. Begun as a celebration of Chopin’s 200th birthday in 2010, during which time he was a featured lecturer, performer and master teacher at the Chopin Festival held at the University of Virginia, the center of Roberto Poli’s current interest is the recording on video of the composer’s complete works. A DVD titled "Fryderyk Chopin: the late works," was released in 2008 on the Rebus label, and features a live performance of Opp. 58-62. A parallel project, begun in June 2009 and supported by the European label Onclassical, features his audio recordings of Chopin’s complete works, now at its sixth volume and distributed by Naxos America. The London-based label Piano Classics released Mr. Poli’s first volume of the complete Chopin recordings in 2011. Roberto Poli’s critically acclaimed debut recording, "Shall we dance...," was released in 2002 by Americus Records, and features his transcription of Maurice Ravel’s La Valse for solo piano, along with other unusual selections such as Sergio Fiorentino’s transcription of Waltzes from Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, and works by Elizabethan composers. A second album, recorded in 2002, was released by Onclassical and features Franz Liszt’s "Années de Pèlerinage - Deuxième Année: Italie." In early 2018, Roberto Poli is scheduled to record fourteen works selected from William Byrd’s "My Ladye Nevels Booke" (1591), originally written for virginal, for the Onclassical label.
Roberto Poli’s activity as an author began with the publication of his critically acclaimed first book, "The Secret Life of Musical Notation: defying interpretive traditions" (Amadeus Press, 2010). Based on years of research and performance, and presenting original groundbreaking insights, it features discoveries based on the analysis of Chopin’s manuscripts and early editions, and provides a new vision of his works that is both scholarly and practical. Additionally, the book features the multi-media interaction of text and audio-clips, which illustrate each example in the author’s interpretation. A second book, titled "It’s about Time," is forthcoming, and discusses the concepts of time, rhythm, and pulse through the eyes of both the musician of the past and the modern man, and how we can relate to the past to find a musical language for the future.
Roberto Poli is the Artistic Director of The Chopin Symposium, an event that gathers world-renowned performers, pedagogues and lecturers. At the 2010 Symposium, he reenacted Chopin’s last concert in Paris, performing on an 1845 Pleyel piano on loan from the Frederick Collection; at subsequent symposia, he reenacted Chopin’s legendary 1832, 1841, and 1842 concerts at the Pleyel Salons, and impersonated Sigismond Thalberg in a reenactment of the 1837 duel between Liszt and Thalberg at the salon of Cristina di Belgiojoso.
Mr. Poli’s main teacher in his teenage years was Giorgio Vianello, a pupil of Busoni’s disciple Gino Tagliapietra, under whose guidance he graduated from the Venice Conservatory of Music Summa Cum Laude and Honors in 1993. His studies continued under Philippe Cassard, Roni Rogoff, Vladimir Tropp, Tatyana Zelickman, Piero Rattalino, and Eugenio Bagnoli. Between 1994 and 1996, his main inspiration was his work with Boris Petrushansky at the Piano Academy Incontri col Maestro in Imola, Italy. In 1998, Roberto Poli moved to North America, when he was offered a full scholarship to attend the New England Conservatory of Music and follow the great artistry of legendary pianist Russell Sherman. Under Sherman’s guidance, he received a Master’s Degree and the prestigious Artist Diploma.
After Roberto Poli’s American debut was saluted by the press as “pure magic”, similar assessments have been expressed around the world in cities such as New York, Dublin, Rome, Boston, Tokyo, Zurich, Brussels, Calgary, Vilnius, Paris, Seoul, and wherever he travels. Acclaimed as a soloist on both piano and harpsichord, and as a chamber musician and conductor, Roberto Poli has appeared with the Monet Ensemble, the Trio di Venezia, the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, soprano Elizabeth Keusch, mezzo-soprano Colleen Palmer, clarinetist Jonathan Cohler, violinist Markus Placci, and cellists Sarah Carter, Ronald Lowry, Micky Katz, and Leo Eguchi. In recent years, he has appeared in extensive and critically acclaimed tours of South Korea and the United States with cellist Daniel Lee. In April 2015, he appeared as a conductor and soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of El Salvador in a program devoted to Mozart and Chopin.
Roberto Poli is an enthusiastic sought-after teacher and lecturer. From 1999 to 2015, he was on the faculty at The Rivers School Conservatory in Weston, Massachusetts, where he was the Artist-in-Residence and Chair of the Piano Department. He has been on the faculty of New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School and Continuing Education since 2003. Many of his students went on to studying at prestigious institutions, such as The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Indiana University, and Carnegie Mellon University. In the fall of 2017, Roberto Poli joined the faculty of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he teaches four courses on piano literature. For the past seven years, he has taught four private classes on performance and interpretation for advanced adult pianists, called "From Symbols to Sounds." He also enjoys a busy schedule of master classes, and has been a guest lecturer and keynote speaker at institutions such as Cornell University, University of Virginia, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, New England Conservatory of Music, and University of Pennsylvania.