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. The recording on video of the composer’s complete works is well under way: a DVD titled “Frederic Chopin: the late works” was released in 2008 on the Rebus label, features a live performance of Opp. 58-62. A parallel project, begun in June 2009 and supported by the European label Onclassical, features Poli’s audio recordings of Chopin’s complete works, now at its sixth volume and distributed by Naxos of America. The London-based label Piano Classics licensed and released the first volume on their own catalog. 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 alongside other unusual selections, such as Sergio Fiorentino’stranscription 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 the spring of 2018, Roberto Poli recorded eleven works selected from William Byrd’s “My Ladye Nevels Booke (1591), originally written for virginal – for the Piano Classics 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, “It’s about Time: musical diary of an itinerant musician” was published in 2020 by Pianopolis, and discusses the concepts of time, rhythm, pulse, and rubato through the eyes of both the musician of the past and the modern man, advancing that 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 in Boston. At the 2010 Symposium, Mr. Poli reenacted Chopin’s last concert in Paris (1848), performing on an 1845 Pleyel piano on loan from the Frederick Collection; at subsequent symposia, he reenacted Chopin’s 1832, 1841, and 1842 legendary 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, PieroRattalino, 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 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, clarinetist Jonathan Cohler, violinist Markus Placci, and cellists Sarah Carter, Ronald Lowry, Mickey 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 teaching at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School since 2003. 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, New England Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, and University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his private teaching, Mr. Poli leads four successful private classes on interpretation and performance for advanced adult pianists. In the fall of 2017, he joined the faculty of The Boston Conservatory as an Adjunct Professor of Keyboard Studies, teaching four piano-literature courses.
New England Conservatory Preparatory School
Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian has performed extensively in her native Armenia and the former Soviet Union, as well as internationally. Her solo appearances and frequent contributions to a number of ensembles have won acclaim from the renowned authorities in the musical world, including praise from Paul Badura Skoda, Mikhail Pletnev and Daniel Pollock. After finishing the Tchaikovsky Music School in Yerevan under the guidance of Professor E.Tandilian Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian graduated with honors from the graduate piano class of Professor Lev Vlasenko and Mikhail Pletnev at the Moscow Conservatory. Among the highlights of her performing and teaching career are the prize at the Transcaucasian Music Competition in 1981 and the professorship at the Yerevan State Conservatory, where she taught a piano class and also the methods of piano teaching from 1988 to 2005. From 1986 to 1988 Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian also assisted Professor Lev Vlasenko in his piano class at the Moscow Conservatory.
Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian is at home both with the classical and modern repertoire. Her spirited interpretations of Rakhmaninov, Liszt, Chopin, Debussy and Olivier Messian invariably fascinate the public. Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian has had an impressive number of solo recitals in Syria, Jordan, the United States, Great Britain, Italy and Argentina. In 1994 she was invited to perform in the prestigious Grande Finale concert together with Ann Shein, a world-famous pianist, at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Her 1995 recital at the Washington Arts Club and a series of concerts in Buenos-Aires and Cordoba in 1996 were highly praised by international press and the local musical circles.
Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian also performed with the Arlington Symphony and the Williamsburg Symphony orchestras. Her most recent recitals with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra featured Mozart’s Concerto # 23 (A-Major) and Saint-Saens’s concerto #2 (g-minor). In 2006-2007 she had solo recitals in Venice, in the National Museum of Musical Instruments in Rome and Teatro di Marcello of Rome ((a recording of this concert can be found here). Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian also performed during the internationally broadcasted 1st anniversary of Telepace Armenia.
Mrs. Karapetian-Shougarian has authored several articles on musicology and theory of piano interpretation. Among them are Methodological Observations in the Process of the Advanced Piano Teaching (2004); The Vocal Element in Franz Schubert’s Piano Sonatas (2004); The Art of Interpretation and International Competitions (2007).
Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian is currently a resident of Wellesley, Massachusetts. In September 2009 she joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory Preparatory and Continuing Education Departments, where she currently teaches a piano class. Mrs. Karapetian-Shougarian also teaches piano at the Rivers School Conservatory and Sharon Music Academy. Being the spouse of Rouben Shougarian, Armenia’s first Ambassador to Washington (1993-1999) and Italy, Spain and Portugal (2005-2008), Lilit Karapetian- Shougarian had to travel extensively and in addition to her professional career performed many social and diplomatic duties.
Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian continued her performing career after moving permanently to the United States. In 2009-2011 she had solo recitals in Watertown and Washington DC. She also played together with Dr. Magdalena Richter (violin) in Arlington, MA. The highlight of her recent performing career were her two solo recitals at Williams Hall, NEC in January 2012 and March 2014.
In March 2013 Lilit Karapetian-Shougarian had a master class and guest artist gala concert at Bridgewater State University, Department of Music. Since April 2013 she has also started collaborating and performing with Levon Chilingirian, a world- renowned violinist from London, UK. Lilit performed a solo recital at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in 2016, where she premiered V. Sargsyan’s new arrangements of Komitas songs. She is committed to promoting contemporary music and is a frequent participant in Contemporary Musical Seminars.