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David Liam Roberts

FlagCanada, Winnipeg Manitoba NoteCello

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Winner of the 1st Prize and Grand Award at the 2018 National Music Festival, David Liam Roberts is establishing himself as one of the most exciting Canadian cellists of his generation. Named one of Canada’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians under 30” by CBC in 2019, David Liam is known for his extraordinary technique and sincerely communicative performances. He is the 2020 recipient of the Michael Measures 2nd Prize, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts and NYO Canada. David Liam was awarded 2nd Prize at the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg’s 2018 Doris McLellan Competition, after a performance of Dvorak’s B minor Cello Concerto as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. After winning the grand prize of the Winnipeg Music Festival on his fourteenth birthday, the Winnipeg Free Press praised him as “prodigiously gifted... displaying an artistic sensibility well beyond his tender age”.

2020-21 engagements have included a solo appearance with the Winnipeg Symphony performing double cello concerti with Yuri Hooker (under Maestro Daniel Raiskin), Halifax debut recitals with pianist LaLa Lee for Cecilia Concerts, recorded concerts presented by the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg (as part of the Zyra Trio) and Virtuosi Concerts (with Yuri Hooker), and appearances at the Lunenberg Academy of Music Performance, Nova Scotia.

Originally from Winnipeg, the Métis cellist now studies with Hans Jørgen Jensen and Andrés Díaz at the Glenn Gould School (GGS) of the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he holds the Chisholm full scholarship and is supported by the Manitoba Arts Council. At the GGS, he has performed as principal cellist of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, working under conductors such as Tania Miller and Andrei Feher. During the 2017-18 season, he was a frequent substitute cellist for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. During the summer of 2019, he toured Canada and Spain as co-principal cellist with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC) and was the recipient of the Gail Asper Foundation $5,000 Award of Excellence. As a soloist, David Liam has performed concerti with the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (on several occasions).

During the summer of 2018, he was one of only two Canadian cellists participating in the international Morningside Music Bridge program and festival in Warsaw, Poland. He has had lessons and masterclasses with many of the world’s foremost cello pedagogues, having attended Morningside Music Bridge for four summers and the Meadowmount School of Music during the summer of 2016. While in Winnipeg, he was a student of Yuri Hooker for eight years.

Since 2016, David Liam has been a leader of the “Back to BACH” Project, a global nonprofit organization to inspire and encourage children to learn musical instruments and to instil in them a love of music. Passionate about educational outreach, he is currently serving as a Global Operations Director with the organization and is the co-Director of the Toronto region.

David Liam plays a Ruggieri-model cello that was made for him in 2017 by Winnipeg luthier, Garth Lee.

(March 2021)

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