Storytelling and musical genius.
— The Asian Age
It would seem most composers have written with her hands in mind, so fluent and knowing is her touch.
— R. R. Menon



The masterful interweaving of captivating narrative and spellbinding musical interpretations make Roberta Swedien a unique cultural treasure among contemporary classical pianists.

Audiences around the world love "The Music Room Recitals". Stories of the composers, the time and the place mix with the passion and power, lightness and lyricism of her pianism to create an unforgettable experience. "She took us to another world." said one audience member. "It was a magical evening, I am deeply moved. This is an incredibly rich treasure." said another.

Roberta Swedien has performed on four continents for over four decades in solo, chamber and orchestral concerts, television and radio appearances with repertoire ranging from Bach to Elliott Carter. Her popular series of words and music "The Music Room Recitals" includes the programs "Clara Schumann: A Romantic Portrait", "From Russia with Love, Sergei Rachmaninoff", "American Classics", "From Dawn to Darkest Night", "Swedish Rhapsody", "The Nobel Concert" and "Nordic Miniatures: Now and Then".

Chamber music recitals in Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, Bombay, New Delhi, Pune, Vasterås and Stockholm in collaboration with such artists as violinist Alberto Lysy, operatic soprano Olga Ionova, tenor Kevin Hanrahan, conductor Natalia Luis-Bassa and soprano Priya Palekar among others have been an additional focus of Swedien's musical life.

Third-generation musician, Roberta is the daughter of legendary producer, recording engineer and 5-time Grammy Award winner Bruce Swedien who has recorded Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and many more. In addition to her work in classical music, Roberta did sound design for Michael Jackson's "HIStory" album. Among her teachers were Leon Rosenbloom, Vladimir Levitski and John Simms.

She captured every emotion to the last nuance.
— D. Koshy


This concert is an armchair journey into the heart of Sweden; a celebration of Sweden's inspiring beauty and a glimpse into the landscape of the Swedish soul in words and music. Music for solo piano by Wilhelm Stenhammar, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Ture Rangström, Ingmar Milveden and Nils Lindberg is interspersed with descriptions of the Swedish countryside, Viking poetry and reminiscences by the composers. It finishes with a medley called "The Swedish Flag" which includes beloved melodies Sverige, Ack Värmeland, Du Gamla, du Fria and more.

"I'm an American with roots deep in the Swedish countryside," Roberta Swedien says "for which I'm extremely grateful. This music speaks to me with a strangely familiar voice. It feels so right. It is music of earth and water and heart and mind."

Her beautiful and sensitive interpretations perfectly mirrored what, in the art of the period, is often referred to as ‘Nordic Lights’.
— Johan Nordenfelt, Ambassador of Sweden


Brilliance and genius abound! Listen to the story of Alfred Nobel and the magical December night with the King and Queen of Sweden at the Nobel Awards Ceremony in Stockholm's elegant Concert Hall. Hear vivid descriptions of the Banquet in the Blue Hall and the Ball in the Hall of Gold, the day of the Santa Lucia celebrations and the Night of the Yumping Green Frog! With music by Hugo Alfvén, Wilhelm Stenhammar, Henrik Janson, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Nils Lindberg and yes, Quincy Jones.

It's almost like being there ... 

— M. Renuka


From the lands of trolls and giants, fjords and mountain lakes, Viking ships and roaring seas, great forests, summer meadows and the Midnight Sun - I bring you Nordic musings for piano solo from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden with works by Grieg, Nielsen, Sibelius, Sveinsson, Vidar, Johansson, Peterson-Berger, Benny Andersson, Sami music, Kalevala music and more.

From the elegance of the late-19th century drawing rooms to the earthy, peasant folk expressions of the countryside to ancient Norse sagas to the ultra-modern, brand new, ink-barely-dry musings of living composers - world premieres by Anna-Lena Laurin from Sweden, Jouko Tötterström from Finland, Snorri Hallgrímsson from Iceland, Tormod Sæverud from Norway and Kim Helweg from Denmark - I add to this poetry and prose of great writers from these northern lands.

An evening of sheer cool.

12W SQ.jpg


A journey in time, space and sound in this concert of music and spoken word by women encompassing nine centuries - from medieval times to today. From an obscure hilltop monastery in the eleventh-century Rhineland to an urban dwelling in modern Manhattan. From pastoral landscapes in Vermont, Germany and Sweden to the hallowed halls of Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Juilliard. From the visionary sacred to expressive reflection to show-stopping virtuosity.

11 of these women have composed operas, symphonies, ballets, chamber music, solo works, concertos, musical theater, oratorios, masses, choirs, jazz film and electronic music. Performed in places like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, halls in London, Argentina, Russia, Norway. They win awards, conduct, perform, coach, write, mother, administer, revolutionize. They’ve broken ceilings and rules everywhere. One is even a saint. The 12th of these women is going to perform selections of their music for solo piano accompanied by spoken word. For you.

This program is inspired by and made possible in part by a grant from New York Women Composers.


Hear the story of the last of the great Romantics, a selection of his magnificent Preludes for piano from Op. 23 and Op. 32 and the musings of Russia's celebrated writers and poets - Pushkin, Chekhov, Pasternak and Dostoevsky in this memorable recital of great words and music.

The packed auditorium was absolutely still and silent as she took us into another world - the Russia of Rachmaninoff’s youth, his life and his music. She put us into a kind of collective trance, giving us precious and intimate glimpses into the soul of Rachmaninoff’s music, and the man himself.
— Helen Kirklin, violist


She was a child prodigy, a child poet at the piano who later was dubbed 'The Priestess of the Piano' by Franz Liszt. Hear her early compositions Toccatina and Nocturne, her Op. 11 Romances which were her secret musical love letters to Robert Schumann, her Variations on his theme and the set of Romances dedicated to Johannes Brahms; all paired with excerpts from love letters and diaries and the passionate and turbulent story of this remarkable musician of the Romantic era.

The effect was extraordinary as the story emerged in fascinating detail ... a gifted raconteur besides being an excellent pianist.
— G. George, The Statesman


"The piano vanishes and music appears" was how German poet Heinrich Heine described the playing of Franz Liszt. In "From Dawn to Darkest Night..." Roberta Swedien ends her musical saga of a day or perhaps a lifetime with the hair-raising 'Funerailles' by Liszt; the stage in darkness, only her silhouette visible.

The program starts in the dim light of early dawn with the words of Pablo Casals and the music of J.S. Bach, then after a high noon story of Beethoven improvising in Vienna, she performs his rarely heard Op. 77 'Fantasia'. The wild and virtuosic 'Toccata' by Prokoviev is next and finally we reach the evening dusk and autumn memories with words of Jean Cocteau and the music of Debussy - before the night is upon us . . .

She unleashed a sound raging with a power and instinctual drive that were unforgettable.
— R. R. Menon


From the Transcendentalists of New England to the bright lights of Broadway, Roberta Swedien's "American Classics" is sure to have something for everyone. Hear Aaron Copland's "Hoe-Down" from "Rodeo" arranged for solo piano, selections from "Woodland Sketches" by Edward MacDowell, the mystical "Alcotts" by Charles Ives, the modern piano music of Samuel Barber, ethereal art music from Amy Beach, selections from Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" and George Gershwin's Songbook. All paired with American poetry of the time, composer musings and colorful stories of the backstage world from Carnegie Hall to 42nd Street.

A sheer delight! For one who has not had much exposure to classical music it was a superb experience. For me, your words were music too.
— Audience member



12 WOMEN ONE PIANO, premiere, New York City, 2020, time, date and location TBA, co=sponsored by New York Women Composers


Florida State Music Teachers Conference, Rachmaninoff Suite for Two Pianos, Op. 17, Mvmt. II Waltz with Hong Lin, Friday October 18, 2019, 1:15 pm, The Hilton Hotel, 1714 SW 34th Street, Gainesville Florida 32607

New York Women Composers awarded Roberta Swedien a Seed Money Grant for her program “12 Women One Piano” which will include music by composers from NYWC.

Swedish Rhapsody with Meet-the-Composer Anna-Lena Laurin, Sunday March 17, 2019, 1 pm, Svenska Kyrkan/Church of Sweden, 5 East 48th Street, New York NY 10017, Admission Free

Swedish Rhapsody, Tuesday March 5, 2019, 7 pm, The Historic Thomas Center, 302 NE 6th Avenue, Gainesville, Florida 32601. Tickets at the door.


Nordic Miniatures: Now and Then, Sunday October 14, 2018, 1:30 pm, Leif Eriksson International Festival, Mindekirken - Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, 924 East 21st St,  Minneapolis Minnesota 55404

Nordic MIniatures: Now and Then, Friday August 24, 2018, 7:00 pm, The Thomas Center, Gainesville, Florida

Nordic Miniatures: Now and Then, Sunday May 6, 2018, 11:15 am, Nordic Heritage Museum Grand Opening/Auditorium, Seattle Washington

Nordic Miniatures: Now and Then, Tuesday May 8,2018, University of Washington, Scandinavian Department, Seattle Washington

Nordic Miniatures: Now and Then, Friday May 11, 2018, 7:30 pm, Nordic Northwest, Portland Oregon

Swedish Rhapsody, Saturday April 21, 2018, 6:00-7:00 mingle with refreshments, 7:00-8:30 concert with intermission, sponsored by the Consulate General of Sweden, Fort Lauderdale. Concert at Congregational Church, 251 SW 4th Avenue, Boca Raton Florida 33432.         For tickets:



The Nobel Peace Prize Gala, November 19, 2016 Rialto Center for the Arts, Atlanta GA

The Nobel Concert, December 11, 2016, 3 pm, First Presbyterian Church, Ocala FL

The Nobel Concert, January 6, 2017, 7:30 pm, The Thomas Center, Gainesville FL

The Nobel Concert, February 25, 2017, 1:00 pm, SWEA Boston, The Scandinavian Cultural Center, West Newton MA

Nordic Miniatures, September 17, 2017, 3:00 pm, Countryside Presbyterian Church, Ocala FL



First Presbyterian Church, Ocala FL February 28, 2016, 3 pm

SWEA San Diego, Encinitas CA March 11, 2016, 7:30 pm

SWEA Los Angeles, Brentwood CA March 13, 2016, 4 pm

SWEA Orange County, Newport Beach CA March 14, 2016, 7 pm

Swedish Cultural Society, Vancouver, B.C. March 17, 2016, 7 pm

SWEA Seattle WA March 18, 2016, 7:30 pm

SWEA San Francisco CA March 20, 2016, 4 pm


Gävle Länsmuseet, Gävle, Sweden                                                    

Embassy of the United States, New Delhi, India

Embassy of Sweden, New Delhi, India                             

The Poona Music Society, Pune, Maharashtra, India                                                   

University Auditorium, University of Florida  

Goethe Institut, New Delhi, India               

Stöde Kyrka, Stöde, Sweden  

Cliff Dwellers Club, Orchestra Hall, Chicago IL                                           

World Humanities Expo, Santa Fe College, Gainesville FL                                                          

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN                                                                

India International Centre, New Delhi, India                                      

The Thomas Center, Gainesville FL

Northwestern University, Evanston IL

National Center for the Performing Arts, Bombay, India

Västerås Castle, Västerås, Sweden

Ockelbo Kyrka, Ockelbo, Sweden

St. Mary's Basilica, Minneapolis MN

Goethe Institut, Chennai, India

Goethe Institut, Pune, India

Keene Center, University of Florida

The State Theater, Minneapolis MN

High Commission of Canada, New Delhi, India

National Center for the Performing Arts, Bombay, India

Georgia College and State University, GA

University of Iowa, Iowa City IA

North Shore Fine Arts Festival, Chicago IL

Share this with the world!
— Audience member







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