Jeff Roberts is a composer, improviser and researcher working in interdisciplinary areas of acoustic/electroacoustic composition and improvisation, experimental music and East Asian music traditions. His music explores relationships between different music styles and cultures. His work has been recognized with awards and funding from the Fulbright Foundation, SSHRC (Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council), Asian Cultural Council, Franz Göethe Stiftung, Korea Foundation, National Gugak Center 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 released their first album on Neuma Records in the summer of 2021. Pan Project will release its 2nd album titled 'Borderless Flows' in 2024 on Neuma Records.
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.
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.