Pianist ELIZABETH JOY ROE has been hailed “brilliant” (The New York Times), “an artist to be taken seriously” (The Chicago Tribune), “impressive” (BBC Radio), “incisive, lyrical and tender” (BBC Music Magazine), “sublime” (Classical Ear), “a mature, fascinating interpreter and an artist of intelligence, insight, and a genuine grace” (The Southampton Press), and “electrifying” (The Dallas Morning News), and she was named one of the classical music world's “Six on the Rise: Young Artists to Watch” by Symphony Magazine. The recipient of the prestigious William Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award, she has appeared as orchestral soloist, recitalist, and collaborative musician at major venues worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Seoul Arts Center, the National Performing Arts Center (Beijing), the Ravinia Festival (Chicago), Salle Cortot (Paris), Teatro Argentino (Buenos Aires), the Esplanade (Singapore), the Adrienne Arsht Center (Miami), the Banff Centre (Canada), and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany).
Ms. Roe’s multifaceted career includes performance broadcasts on the BBC, KBS, NPR, and PBS; new music premieres; and a diverse range of artistic projects and collaborations. A recording artist for Decca Classics, she has recorded the complete Nocturnes by John Field in one of 2016’s most noteworthy releases, and her previous album was a critically acclaimed coupling of the Britten and Barber Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Emil Tabakov. Her discography also comprises a solo album, Images Poetiques (Universal Classics / DG), and four piano duo albums which have spent dozens of weeks at the top of the Billboard classical charts. Additional career highlights include the PBS broadcast of “Jazz & the Philharmonic” (in which she performed alongside jazz legends Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, and others); the Carnegie Hall premiere of Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for the composer's centennial celebration, hosted by Pierre Boulez; performance presentations for the United Nations and at various international leadership symposia, including the EG Conference, Chicago Ideas Week, and La Ciudad de las Ideas; an artistic residency sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Argentina; editions for Alfred Music; directorial and mentorship projects with the National YoungArts Foundation; and an active role as Artistic Curator for the Joye in Aiken Festival.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Roe has collaborated with an array of esteemed artists, including conductor Leonard Slatkin, violinist Daniel Hope, violist Richard O’Neill, cellist Ralph Kirshbaum, the Parker Quartet, and jazz pianist Shelly Berg; she is also a member of Decoda (Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall) and Trio Ariadne (ensemble-in-residence at the Green Music Center). Most notably, she co-founded the groundbreaking Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, whose concerts, compositions, and Emmy-nominated music videos (viewed by millions on YouTube) have captivated audiences around the globe. Highlights of the Duo’s 2016/17 season include tours throughout North America, Asia, and Europe; concerto appearances with the San Francisco Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Chicago Sinfonietta, and more; webcast hosting for the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; and the DVD release of their ambitious music film, The Rite of Spring: A Musical Odyssey.
Ms. Roe made her concerto debut at age 15 with the Chicago Philharmonic, eliciting critical acclaim fromThe Chicago Tribune’s John Von Rhein: “Elizabeth Joy Roe supplied scintillation in the Grieg [Concerto] ... A lot of pianists play the Grieg but not many adults twice the age of Miss Roe could make this familiar score sing so poetically or with such spontaneity.” She has since appeared with the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Boulder, Calgary, Hartford, Tucson, Santa Fe, Shreveport, Waco, Winnipeg, Chautauqua, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Ars Viva, Seongnam, and Juilliard; the Indianapolis and Milwaukee Chamber Orchestras; the Chicago Sinfonietta; and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, among others. In 2003, she stepped in on short notice to replace the late John Browning for subscription performances of the Barber Piano Concerto (Browning’s signature work) with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra; The Delaware News Journal pronounced her pianism as “astonishing” and “stunning.”
Committed to arts advocacy, Ms. Roe was one of the inaugural fellows of The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute (now under the new appellation of Ensemble Connect). As part of this professional fellowship, she performed regularly at Carnegie Hall with Ensemble ACJW, taught at PS 131Q in Queens, and co-directed the Children's Music Campaign NYC. In recognition of her educational and leadership endeavors, she was awarded the McGraw-Hill Companies’ Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach. She has also held faculty positions at Smith College as Visiting Artist and Lecturer in Music and at Sonoma State University as Weill Hall Artist-in-Residence.
A Chicago native, Ms. Roe was 13 years old when she won the grand prize at the IBLA International Piano Competition in Italy. Throughout her career she has received honors from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Music for Youth Foundation, and the National Association for Professional Asian Women. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School as a full scholarship student, graduating with Scholastic Distinction for her thesis on representations of music in the fiction of Thomas Mann, Marcel Proust, and E.M. Forster. A Steinway Artist and Soros Fellow, Ms. Roe’s mission is to connect with others through the inspiration, joy and essential humanity of music.
Photographs by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco