Jeff Roberts is a composer, improviser and researcher working in interdisciplinary areas of intercultural music making, electroacoustic music and multi-media performance. His music explores relationships between different music styles and cultures. His work has been recognized with awards from the Fulbright Foundation, Franz Göethe Stiftung, Korea Foundation and Asian Cultural Council among others. His compositions have received multiple awards and have been commissioned and performed worldwide. His study of guqin with guqin master Li Xiangting (李祥霆) has led to an active international performing career on guqin. He co-founded and is co-artistic director of PAN Project Ensemble, an ensemble of master musicians from Chinese, Korean and Japanese traditions, focused on creating modern music that is rooted in the intercultural history of East Asia. His work with interactive soundscape installation was recognized with a Jack Straw New Media Award. Recordings of his compositions have been released on the Telos (Germany) and Takuai (Italy) labels and his ensemble PAN Project will release their first album on Neuma Records in the summer of 2021. A solo album of his guqin compositions and improvisations (supported by a Jack Straw Artist Support Award) will be released in 2022.
His research focuses on technology and cultural identity in intercultural electro-acoustic music, guqin improvisation and intercultural plucked string instrument techniques. He holds a PhD in Music Composition and Theory from Brandeis University, M.A. in Composition from Boston University and B.M in Improvisation from New England Conservatory of Music. He studied with German composer Hans Zender at the Hochschule für Musik Frankfurt am Main and was a Senior Scholar at the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, studying guqin performance with master Li Xiangting (李祥霆).
He is an Assistant Professor of East Asian Music and Culture in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada.