Robert Rogers

Robert (Garland) Rogers. Pianist, teacher, b Carberry, near Brandon, Man, 15 Sep 1936, d Vancouver 16 Jan 2008; BA (British Columbia) 1957, MA (Washington) 1960.

Rogers, Robert

Robert (Garland) Rogers. Pianist, teacher, b Carberry, near Brandon, Man, 15 Sep 1936, d Vancouver 16 Jan 2008; BA (British Columbia) 1957, MA (Washington) 1960. A pupil of Lorne Watson in Brandon and of Leonard Heaton in Winnipeg, Robert Rogers moved in 1954 to Vancouver where his teachers were Frances Adaskin and Ira Swartz. He studied piano 1958-60 with Berthe Poncy Jacobson and Randolph Hokanson at the University of Washington. On his return to Vancouver in 1960, he taught privately for several years and in 1966 joined the faculty of music at the University of British Columbia, where he taught until 1998. He also taught 1971-6 at the Courtenay Youth Music Centre. Rogers was a soloist on occasion with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra and orchestral pianist with that group and with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He appeared at the Hornby Island Festival beginning in 1986, chiefly with the Purcell String Quartet, and was a member of Piano Power with Linda Lee Thomas, Terence Dawson, Rena Sharon (until 1990), and Arlie Thompson (from 1990).

Rogers participated in the premieres of Jean Coulthard'sSonata Rhapsody (1 Mar 1963) and Lyric Sonatina (13 Jan 1972); Barbara Pentland's Mutation (13 Feb 1973), Disasters of the Sun (23 Jan 1977), Piano Quintet (13 Jan 1984, with the Purcell String Quartet), Horizons (27 Sep 1987), and Ice Age (27 Sep 1987, with soprano Margarita Noye); Eugene Wilson's Cello Sonata, Piano Trio (22 Jan 1976, with the composer), and Viola Sonata (5 Feb 1976); and Elliot Weisgarber's Fantasia à Ire (7 Mar 1975). For the CBC he performed works by Beethoven, Elliott Carter, and Pentland, among others, and made several recordings (see Discography). In the 1980s Rogers focused chiefly on chamber music and accompanying, and turned his attention to 20th-century music, particularly the works of Pentland. His repertoire, however, was considerable and wide-ranging; he was a pianist of commanding technique and unfailing sensitivity and also a gifted ensemble player.

Rogers was a juror of the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition in 1995. In 1998, the UBC established the Robert G. Rogers Prize in Piano.