Biography

Amanda and Jonathan RobertsAmanda and Jonathan Roberts founded their group, The Stardust Duo, in 2008.  The duo is named after the jazz tune “Stardust,” which was made famous by the French jazz violinist Stephane Grapelli. As the name implies, the pair not only performs standard classical repertoire, but they also explore works of alternative styles in an effort to engage a broader audience. The duo released their first CD, The Stardust Duo: Debussy, Poulenc, and Franck Sonatas for Violin and Piano, in the summer of 2009. Amanda and Jonathan met in 2006 while pursuing their Masters Degrees at the Cleveland Institute of Music and were married in the summer of 2009.  They enjoy a lifelong passion for sharing music with others through performing and teaching. Both Amanda and Jonathan hold the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Alabama and are currently on the faculty of the South Shore Conservatory, based in the Boston area.

Amanda Smith RobertsAmanda Smith Roberts, of Brandon, Mississippi, holds both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied under renowned pedagogue Paul Kantor.  Three years prior to attending CIM, Amanda and her mother made frequent trips to Nashville, Tennessee where she studied with Connie Heard, professor of violin at Vanderbilt University.  From 1994-2001, Amanda studied with Patrick Rafferty, professor of violin at the University of Alabama.  During the summers, Amanda enjoyed studying with Stephen Clapp while attending the Meadowmount festival and the Hochschule fur Musik in Leipzig, Germany. Amanda has performed solos with professional orchestras such as the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Corinth Symphony, the Sewanee Festival Orchestra, the Tuscaloosa Symphony, and the Shoals Symphony.  In 2001, she appeared on the International radio show From the Top.  She has also competed as a finalist in many national competitions, including both the high school and college division of the Music Teachers National Association and the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Awards. Having studied violin since the age of three, Amanda has a lifetime of experience playing a variety of musical styles. In her formative years, Amanda‚Äôs mentor, Mickey Davis, incorporated alternative styles into her training. In fact, she made her debut as a featured soloist with the Mississippi Symphony at age 9, performing the Orange Blossom Special. Now, Amanda balances her love for Classical music with avidness for Jazz, Blues, Celtic, and Fiddle styles. Twice, she was awarded the Mississippi State Fiddling Championship.  In her spare time she enjoys performing as a fiddler and participating in recording projects with various popular artists. Recently, Amanda was featured as the concertmaster of The Psychedelic Ensemble Orchestra on The Psychedelic Ensemble's latest album, The Tale of the Golden King. The concept album has been ranked as one of the top progressive rock albums of 2013.

Jonathan RobertsJonathan Roberts, of Providence, Rhode Island, holds his Bachelor of Arts degree in piano performance and Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of New Hampshire, as well as his Masters degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in piano performance. He has studied with Irina Tchantceva, Arlene Kies, Kathryn Brown, and Noel Engebretson. Having studied piano since the age of seven, Jonathan has performed in venues throughout the Eastern United States. He has been a featured soloist with the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra and the University of New Hampshire Wind Symphony. Also, Jonathan has competed as a semi-finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Piano Competition and as a finalist in the Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition. Recently, Mr. Roberts was invited to participate in the 59th annual Wideman National Piano Competition in 2009. As a collaborator, Jonathan has performed with such renowned artists as Mark O'Connor, Angella Ahn, Eugene Friesen, Demondrae Thurman, Tormod Flaten and Julia Dinerstein.