Michael Roberts was born in Sussex, England and began playing the piano at age four. From 1967 to 1975 Michael was Production Stage Manager for Harold Prince in London’s West End. In 1970 he was trained and became a dance accompanist for the Royal Ballet School. And in 1975 he moved to Los Angeles where he has since worked as a dance accompanist and composer.
Michael was formerly Senior Accompanist of the Stanley Holden Dance Center and Music Coordinator of the Sharon Disney Lund Dance School at California Institute of the Arts, as well as Music Director of Pasadena Dance Theater. Currently, he is Music and Technical Coordinator for the Community School of Performing Arts’s Community School Dance program and The Colburn Dance Academy, both programs of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute at the Colburn School, as well as faculty/accompanist for the American Ballet Theatre summer intensive and West Coast company accompanist for the American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, National Ballet of Canada, Mark Morris, Joffrey Ballet Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Royal Ballet of New Zealand companies. He has worked extensively with master teachers Finis Jhung, David Howard, Wendy Whelan, Justin Peck, Philip Neal and George Zorich, Glenn Edgerton, and many others.
Michael has appeared on numerous TV shows and the movie Six Weeks with Mary Tyler Moore. Michael has also played for Juliet Prowse, who endorsed his original dance record albums. Michael’s other compositions include four Music for Ballet Class CDs, one CD of original music for the Modern Dance Class, two CDs of original dance compositions Dancing Scores, Two Classical/New Age CDs Farther than the Sun and English Impressions, a special CD Reflections, a musical journey of the past thirty years, as well as three theater musicals and numerous commissioned dance scores. In 2007 his music was featured in the documentary film Divertissement: Every Day Dancers Stories. His latest ballet class CD Dancing Fingers was released in November 2009. In August of 2013 his latest CD Dreams of Kilimanjaro was released.
Author Christine Ann Kent has included a special CD of his music in her latest best seller women’s health book, entitled Saving the Whole Woman.
In 2004 he was a recipient of a special Lester Horton Award for Service to the Field.
In the fall of 2011 he composed the music for the DVD/film Ally Cat the Ballet Cat starring Prima Ballerina Diana Vishneva.
In 2011, a special 40th Anniversary performance of his career as a dance accompanist was celebrated at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles.
In 2015 he composed the music for a ballet choreographed by Philip Neal which was performed by the Colburn Dance Academy and was also performed at the Youth America Grand Prix finals ballet competition in April 2016 in New York City.
In March 2016 his composition Patterns was performed by the Colburn Chamber Orchestra.
In June 2016 his composition Spanish Lady was choreographed and danced by flamenco star Yolanda Arroyo at the Colburn School Evening of Dance as well as Herencia Flamenca at The Alex Theater.
“Michael Roberts knows how to bring out the best in every dancer: his years of experience playing for the world’s best ballet dancers have equipped him with a unique understanding of what dancers need to hear to dance their best.”
Dance Magazine – 1979
Described Volume 1 Original Music for the Ballet Class as “the one you should choose for your desert island (and) as being steeped in understanding… (with) Tchaikovsky smiling over his shoulder.”
Los Angeles Times Article “Accompanist as a Chameleon” – 1984
Mikhail Baryshnikov quote – “Michael is wonderful. His music cheers you up and rehabilitates you!”
Leslie Carothers formerly of the Joffrey and Pennsylvania Ballet
“Michael Roberts’ music is rich, varied and full of feeling. Movement is built intelligently and fully into every phrase.”