Navigating an illustrious career through a tumultuous period in the music industry, Christopher Roberts provided visionary leadership for the world’s largest recording company. As President of Universal Music Group’s Classics and Jazz Division, Mr. Roberts instituted forward-thinking changes and kept the label competitive during a period of market contraction. Joining Universal Music Group through its acquisition of PolyGram Records, Christopher Roberts oversaw some of the most famous labels in recording history. As head of Universal Music’s Classics and Jazz Division, Mr. Roberts oversaw Decca, Philips, Emarcy, Verve, and the legendary Deutsche Grammophon. The world’s oldest active recording label, Deutsche Grammophon represents a 111-year-old archive of music history.
Ushering the label into the 21st century, Christopher Roberts implemented the Deutsche Grammophon Web Shop, bringing the company’s music directly to the consumer through Internet downloads. Christopher Roberts was a leading figure in developing crossover talent for Universal Music Group, signing Elvis Costello to a multi-genre contract and launching Andrea Bocelli’s career in the American market. In an effort to expand CD sales, Mr. Roberts established Decca Broadway, releasing original soundtrack recordings for movies like Frida, Schindler’s List, and Braveheart, and original Broadway scores for Mamma Mia!, Cats, Les Misérables, and Evita. Across his 30 years of music industry experience, Christopher Roberts contributed to Universal Music’s success during a period of corporate consolidation and revolutionary changes in the distribution and sales of musical recordings.
Recognizing the shifting environment of the music business, Mr. Roberts joined Jeffrey Vanderveen and Manfred Seipt in establishing an artist management and concert production division for Universal Music. An accomplished classical pianist, Christopher Roberts earned a B.A. in Music and German Literature at Lewis and Clark College in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. He majored in Musicology in graduate school at the University of Illinois, traveling to Germany for post-graduate study. For several years, Christopher Roberts composed and produced music for the German film and television industry.