Launching his illustrious music career as Manager of an independent record store in Portland, Oregon, Chris Roberts would go on to direct the Classics and Jazz Division for Universal Music Group, the largest recording company in the world. Trained in classical piano, Mr. Roberts first managed pop and rock performers for PolyGram Records, which was later bought by Universal Music Group. Helping to advance the careers of bands such as Bon Jovi and the Scorpions, Chris Roberts was promoted to President of PolyGram’s classical and jazz department in 1994.
While at PolyGram Records, Chris Roberts resurrected the Verve label, returning it to a position of leadership in the jazz recording industry. In 1996, Mr. Roberts took on global responsibility for the Classics and Jazz Division, merging Philips Classics with the Decca label. Chris Roberts added to Decca’s extensive opera holdings by forming the Decca Broadway label, releasing soundtracks to popular feature films and original cast recordings of Broadway shows.
After Universal Music Group completed its takeover of PolyGram Records, Chris Roberts continued as the head of the company’s Classics and Jazz Division. Re-establishing the 111-year-old Deutsche Grammophon as the premier classical brand, Chris Roberts entered the online music market by establishing DG Web Shop, providing digital access to the world’s largest classical music inventory. Mr. Roberts also initiated the iClassics portal, linking Universal Music’s Decca and ECM labels with Deutsche Grammophon.
During Chris Roberts’ tenure at Universal Music Group, he worked with such noted artists as Sting, Elvis Costello, Cecilia Bartoli, Renée Fleming, and Andrea Bocelli. Mr. Roberts continues to be active in the classical music business, serving as President and CEO of Robisong Consultants where he provides strategic and creative planning for a wide variety of artists.