Classical Cello with a Modern Touch

PAMELA ROBERTS was recognized as a national cello talent by the age of 11. She served as principal cellist in Washington’s All State Orchestra and the National Congress of Strings in Los Angeles. She was awarded the top music scholarship at the University of Washington, the Brechemin Award, for five years in a row. As an upcoming young artist Pamela was awarded a 3-year fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival. She was chosen to

participate in the exclusive Cleveland Chamber Music Seminar and became faculty cellist at the University of Puget Sound.  Pamela performed as soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Port Townsend Symphony and Bremerton Westsound Symphony, among others. As a chamber musician she worked with the Philadelphia String Quartet, Northwest Chamber Orchestra and Seattle Early Music Guild.

Pamela was principal cellist of the Tacoma Symphony and 5th Avenue Theater Orchestra, and is currently principal cellist of the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra. She studied cello with Eva Heinitz, Toby Saks and Alan Harris among others. She participated in master classes with Janos Starker, Gabor Reijto, David Soyer and Yo Yo Ma. Pamela’s husband, Howard Gilbert, is a well-known orchestral and jazz drummer.

As a young cellist I played every chance I got. I joined five different orchestras with rehearsals each week in addition to my weekly cello lessons. I played standard orchestral repertoire, string orchestra ensemble, new music ensemble, Baroque music ensemble, concertos, sonatas, composer’s forums, chamber music, Broadway shows, church music and more. I also studied piano for ten years. This broad background led to my deep understanding of music and cello.

From the Audience

Pamela, you were magnificent yesterday!  Both pieces showed off the full range of your artistry.  The Tango was brilliant, and you totally nailed passages unlike any I’ve ever even imagined being played on a cello.  You took my breath away!  And then that gorgeous slow piece so full of emotion and soulfulness.  It was heavenly!  Thank you so much for giving us all such a wonderful gift. – Helen L.

Pam – you were extraordinary!!  I was so moved!  I cried in the Piazzolla and during your encore.  You and Piazzolla went right to my heart.  Even my friend cried. (He is a musician).  I know that Piazzolla would have been delighted to hear you. Such quality of sound, range, and emotion.  I know his music well, having lived in Costa Rica where the best quartet in San Jose specialized in it.  – Gail C.

Thanks again for alerting me about the concert yesterday. I am still enjoying the experience today. It was truly extraordinary. You poured your heart into that beautiful piece of music. And all without notes in front of you! You should celebrate and be proud. – Liliane G.

Thanks for the wonderful concert. Pam plays very beautifully, differentially, sensitively, with soul and a beautiful warm tone. A true experience and a pleasure. – Sebastien M.

Sunday afternoon we went to Chimacum High School for a concert by the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra. The principal cellist for the PTSO is Quilcene resident Pamela Roberts. She performed the cello solo in Le Grand Tango” with an awesome encore. It was more proof of the talent we have in the neighborhood. – Ned Luce from Peninsula Daily News

We loved your performance! Great music, brilliantly played – it doesn’t get better than that! – Mike & Derrel

What an absolute joy and privilege it was to play with our awesome principal cellist! – Sara H.

Yesterday’s concert was the most eclectic and exciting one I have heard on the Peninsula since moving to Bell Hill in Sequim ten-years ago. Pamela Roberts’s ‘cello playing was the best I have heard since listening to Yo-Yo Ma play with the Denver Symphony many, many years ago. – John and Carol G.