Born in Venice, Italy, Roberto Poli has been portrayed on many occasions as a Renaissance man, enjoying not only an international career as a performer, but also being very much involved in writing, poetry and painting.
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, Brussels, Calgary, 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 and cellist Sarah Carter. In recent years, he has appeared in extensive and critically acclaimed tours of South Korea and the United States with world-renowned cellist Daniel Lee.
It was not until the age of twelve that Roberto Poli started taking piano lessons, when he convinced his parents to rent an upright piano. He was privileged to study for over ten years with Giorgio Vianello, graduating from the Venice Conservatory Summa Cum Laude and Honors in 1993. He furthered his studies under Philippe Cassard, Piero Rattalino and Eugenio Bagnoli. From 1995 to 1997, he studied with Boris Petrushansky at the Piano Academy Incontri col Maestro in Imola.
In mid 1996, Roberto Poli was called to serve his country and was stationed at a Bosnian refugee camp at the outskirts of Italy’s border with Croatia, shortly after the Bosnian war came to an end. It was a year of hardship in which his performing activity came to a nearly complete halt. This hiatus from the concert platform was nevertheless a crucial period of growth in which writing and poetry became an alternative vehicle of expression. It is during this time that his first writings on music and a series of poems depicting the life of the Bosnian refugees and the experiences lived during those months took shape.
A few months later, Roberto Poli was in North America invited by the Gina Bachauer Foundation to participate in their International Piano Competition. Shortly after the conclusion of the competition, Roberto Poli moved to Boston to follow the great artistry of Russell Sherman, Artist in Residence at the New England Conservatory, and made the United States his home. Under Sherman’s tutelage, he received a Master’s Degree with artistic distinction and academic honors, and the prestigious Artist Diploma.
Roberto Poli is an enthusiastically sought-after teacher and lecturer. He holds positions at the Rivers School Conservatory in Weston, Massachusetts, where he is the Artist in Residence, and at the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School, teaching a select group of talented pupils.
Roberto Poli is also an active recording artist. His debut album Shall we dance… was released on the Americus Records label in 2002 and was enthusiastically received by publications such as Fanfare and American Record Guide. Other commercial releases followed, including recordings of contemporary music on Capstone Records.
Considered by many a rising authority on the music of Chopin, which he has comprehensively studied through manuscripts and original editions and widely performed throughout the world, Roberto Poli is currently pursuing a project encompassing the composer’s complete works. Intended to celebrate Chopin’s 200th birthday in 2010, this project includes recordings as well as a book, The Secret Life of Musical Notation: defying interpretive traditions, which presents new insights into Chopin’s music. This first volume on pianistic interpretation provides a new vision of Chopin’s works that is both scholarly and practical.
Roberto Poli lives in Boston where he continues his work as a musician, writer and painter, in addition to the restoration of his 1850s Victorian house on historic Chester Square.