Concertmaster lays down bow after 40 years

Concertmaster lays down bow after 40 years


norman lebrecht

September 22, 2022

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has given a farewell hug to Richard Roberts, its concertmaster since 1982.

They’ve chosen Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, a personal favourite, for his final performance this weekend.


  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Dare we mention Charles Dutoit these days? But Roberts was the featured concert master of the Montreal in their legendary recordings on Decca. So this surely places him in the top ranks of orchestra leaders.

    • Rafael Enrique Irizarry says:

      Mr. Mortimer: Let us dare mention Maître Dutoit! Those Decca recordings are indeed legendary because the bar they set remains insurmountable. Yes, sir!

    • Jobim75 says:

      Legendary for what and who. Well recorded by Decca engineers, but quite full, not the refinement of a chamber orchestra, not the weight of a war machine as BRSO, Chostakovitch sounded as Ravel, I never was surprised or interested by any of Dutoit tempo or colour option. He was a dictator? To achieve a lukewarm interprétation…… We can just thank this team for defending french repertoire as the pair Suisse Romande Ansermet did at the time, with much more personality in my opinion…

      • trumpetherald says:

        Ansermets recordings suffer from often sloppy orchestral playing,and horrible wind intonation.Maitre Dutoit turned the OSM into a world class orchestra.

  • LolaViola says:

    Wishing you a long, happy, and healthy retirement. Thanks, too, for the Mozart duos we played together so many years ago at your Mom’s house.

  • Ralph Sauer says:

    I knew Dick Roberts when we were both young kids in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra a lifetime ago. Great player and great guy. Happy retirement.

  • David Hyslop says:

    Congratulations to Richard on a long and tremendous career. Our paths crossed during his early years with the Minnesota Orchestra.

  • James Thompson says:

    Congratulations Richard. You leave a fine legacy. I’m retiring from Eastman this year. I’ll be in Montreal November 11 . Maybe we could get together for a drink.

  • MacroV says:

    I knew he came to Montreal from Cleveland (where he was Assistant CM), but had no idea he apparently played in Toronto and Minnnesota before that. Quite the career. I met him once about 20 years ago; seemed to be a very nice man.

  • Andrew Zaplatynsky says:

    Best wishes to my dear friend, from our student days with the Master, Josef Gingold.

  • Steven Thomas says:

    …and I get to keep playing with him elsewhere! Congratulations, and see you soon Richard

  • Roger Rocco says:

    Congratulations maestro for your precious gift of great music to your audience. Merci!

  • Brandon Lawhead says:

    Richard Roberts forged a legacy that inspired future generations of violinists.