Brad Richter Classical Guitarist, Composer
About Brad Brad Richter may be one of the most influential classical guitarists working today. His ability to defy the technical limits of his instrument has earned him comparisons to the likes of Franz Liszt and Nicolo Paganini by luminaries of the American classical music scene. Equal parts performer, composer, and educator, he has amassed nearly 1,000 concert appearances in North America and Europe - more than 50 of which have been broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today. ﷯Brad’s compositions for solo guitar and guitar in ensemble are performed by guitarists the world over and his not-for-profit Lead Guitar teaches more than 3,000 at-risk youth to play classical guitar every year. Brad is also an avid collaborator with legendary artists such as Carlos Bonell (Royal College of Music), cellist David Finckel (nine-time Grammy winner and Director of Chamber Music at Lincoln Center), and his long-time partner in the Richter Uzur Duo, cellist Viktor Uzur. Born in Enid, OK in 1969, Brad began teaching himself to play guitar and compose at age 12. At 19, having had no formal music training, he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship to the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, where he began teaching after two years. Brad later accepted a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied with Carlos Bonell. He became the first guitarist in the school’s history to win the coveted Thomas Morherr Prize for voice accompaniment, and went on to win the Royal College of Music’s guitar competition before completing his Master’s in 1994. When he returned to the states to begin his concert career he notched several other competition wins including The International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship, a competition featuring some of the world's finest guitarists from all genres. ﷯In addition to his collections of concert music for solo guitar (published by Mel Bay, Acoustic Music Records and GSP), Brad is known for his own particular brand of genre-mashing chamber music, drawing on the traditions of world music, North American indigenous music, pop and classical. Some of his composing accolades include winning the International Composer’s Guild Competition, writing the score for an episode of the Emmy award-winning PBS television series The Desert Speaks and NPR’s Classical Guitar Alive naming The Richter Uzur Duo’s original music CD String Theory best new release in 2011. Major commissions include Navigating Lake Bonneville, a concert length work for Soprano, Guitar, Cello, Percussion, Narrator and Choir commissioned by Weber State University, Duo Concerto for Cello and Guitar, co-written with Viktor Uzur for the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, Fragments Transcending commissioned by David Finckel, and Devil in the Details commissioned by the National Music Teachers
Association. Brad’s most noteworthy contributions may be in his role as teacher. In 2006 Brad founded Lead Guitar, a not-for-profit that builds permanent, self-sustaining classical guitar programs in economically challenged schools, providing rigorous and engaging music education to young people who would otherwise have no such opportunity. Since inception the organization has taught more than 15,000 at-risk students to play guitar and trained more than 100 public school teachers to teach guitar in close to 100 schools around the country. Lead Guitar joined the University of Arizona in 2013 to become the music education initiative for the University of Arizona’s UA Presents, making Brad their Director of Education. Brad and Lead Guitar have also partnered with other high profile organizations including the Aspen Music Festival and the Boys and Girls Club to bring music education to the communities that need it most.
Richter's playing is expert. His tone is lovely, his technical command sure....A satisfying and fascinating recording, and I'll return to it.
~American Record Guide