The Boston Conservatory | New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School
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.
Levine School of Music
Praised by critics in Europe and the United States for his lyricism, virtuosity and an intensity of performance, pianist Martin Labazevitch appeared in many concert halls and festivals in Poland, Ukraine, Finland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Israel, Japan, South Korea and the United States. He is a recipient of many awards and recognitions in piano competitions in the U.S., Spain and Japan as well as recipient of the Honorary Ambassador Award in Stalowa Wola, Poland, Rina Menashe Award in Israel, Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship, Harold Schonberg Scholarship as well as the Harold Bauer Award for the most promising pianist at the Manhattan School of Music.
Born in Poland, Mr. Labazevitch studied at the Odessa Conservatory in Ukraine, with Anatoly Kardashev, before immigrating to the United States, and obtaining scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music with Mme Nina Svetlanova and later with Cuban-American virtuoso Horacio Gutierrez - whom he considers his greatest inspiration. Currently, he is pursuing his doctoral studies with Jose Ramos Santana in Washington DC. He has worked with such renowned artists as Dmitri Bashkirov, Lazar Berman, Isidore Cohen, Bella Davidovich, Philippe Entremont, Stephen Hough, Ruth Laredo and Earl Wild. He has also collaborated with contemporary composers such as Richard Danielpour, Jan Radzynski, Haskel Small, and Lukas Foss.
His performances have been broadcast on radio stations throughout the U.S. such as WQXR, WWFM, and WFMT in New York, WFMT in Chicago as well as classical radio stations in Poland and Lithuania. Mr. Labazevitch has been a soloist with leading orchestras in Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Japan, and the United States. As a chamber musician, he is a founding member of the Paderewski Trio, an all-Polish ensemble, which for the entirety of its existence had been coached by the late Isidore Cohen - member of the Juilliard String Quartet and the Beaux Arts Trio. Paderewski Trio’s debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall was praised by Strad Magazine as “...exuberant, multi-faceted, ...gripping from first note to last.”
Highlights of the most recent seasons include performances with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Lutoslawski Chamber Orchestra and Church of St.Louis Orchestra, performances with Vilnius String Quartet and Spokane String Quartet, recital tour in Spain with Polish cellist Rafal Jezierski, performances with Dominican violinist Aisha Syed Castro in Weill Recital Hall in New York, Methuen Hall in Boston and in London UK, performance at the Tedmed conference at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, as well as solo recitals at the Weill Recital Hall in New York as the winner of the La Gesse Foundation auditions, and recital at the Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago.
The highlights of the 2019/20 season include performances with Dominican violinist Aisha Syed Castro at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, in Chicago and Lima, Peru, recitals in Spain with Polish cellist Rafal Jezierski as well as solo recitals in Philadelphia, Miami, Washington D.C. and New York City.
In 2015, Mr. Labazevitch released his first commercial recording on Delos Music label, to very enthusiastic reviews in Poland, France, Germany and the United States. Fanfare Magazine wrote: “His way with Chopin is fluid and convincing. He plays with a superb control of rubato and has the most beautiful way of melting a phrase.” The American Record Guide wrote: “Pianist Labazevitch injects more fire into the two concerto works, rushing the tempos in some passagework to build excitement; orchestra and conductor gamely, calmly follow his lead. Labazevitch is excellent.” ConcertoNet wrote, “...he pleasantly refrains from overtaxing Chopin’s conclusive Allegro vivace with shimmering grandeur and eloquent precision that could even rival that of Arthur Rubinstein.”
Since 2012 Mr Labazevitch has been sharing his passion for teaching with students at the Levine School of Music in Washington D.C.
He is the Co-Artistic Director of the Puerto Rico International Piano Festival, in San Juan as well as the Founder and the Artistic Director of the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition and Chopin Piano Academy in Washington D.C. Mr Labazevitch is a Steinway Artist.