Christopher Roberts, bass

Christopher Roberts is a composer and double bassist who is as comfortable within the Western classical, jazz, and folk traditions as he is within a number of non-Western Pacific Rim musical traditions and as an idiosyncratic solo improviser on the bass and other instruments. He grew up in Southern California (where his first bass was the "prop" bass, with bullet holes, from the Billy Wilder movie Some Like It Hot), but has spent much of his life since the early 1980s living overseas. Only fairly recently did he return to the United States, where he currently teaches music at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington.

Roberts studied composition with Vincent Persichetti and double bass with David Walter at Juilliard, where he earned masters and doctoral degrees in both subjects. Following the focus and intensity of the conservatory environment, he shouldered his bass and went to live alone in Papua New Guinea, on a quest to understand natural prosody in music. This was followed by a Fulbright to Taiwan to study the Chinese classical qin (an ancient zither-like instrument), in a quest to understand idiomatic string composition in a culture and a way of training different from his own. Roberts has become a master of the qin (and Cold Blue has released a CD of his qin solos, Last Cicada Singing).

He taught composition, theory, and double bass for a number of years at Soochow University in Taipei. Roberts was the subject of the award-winning documentary Songs of a Distant Jungle.

August Symphony Series performance location

Door Community Auditorium - Fish Creek 

The Peninsula Music Festival - 10347 Highway 42

Unit B Green Gables Shops 

P.O. Box 340, Ephraim, Wisconsin  54211


Phone: (920) 854-4060