Richard Blackford
Composer

Richard Blackford - Headshot

At the standing ovation premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra in 2014 (a Cheltenham Festival commission with BBC National Orchestra of Wales) conductor Martyn Brabbins described its composer Richard Blackford as,
“At the top of his game”.

Eleven further performances in the UK, USA and Germany have established it as a modern classic and have focussed attention on Blackford’s recent surge of activity in orchestral and instrumental music. Niobe, for violin and orchestra, commissioned by the Czech Philharmonic, receives its premiere in November 2017; Kalon, commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival for BBC NOW, receives its premiere in July 2018. His oboe concerto The Better Angels Of Our Nature, recorded for Champs Hill Records by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and featured at the 2016 Presteigne Festival with soloist Emily Pailthorpe, has attracted superlative press notices in the USA and UK. In April 2017 Nimbus Records brings out its fifth CD devoted entirely to Blackford’s music, every piece being orchestral or instrumental. 2017 also sees the premieres of Goodfellow (Conchord commission), Murmuration (Ensemble Variances commission), and Five Naidu Songs (Aberystwyth MusicFest commission). His choral music, for which he has an outstanding reputation, continues to be widely performed, with the 157th performance of his St. Francis of Assisi cantata Mirror Of Perfection in March 2017 in St. John’s Smith Square. 2020 sees the premiere of a choral opera commission Half The Sky for the Bournmeouth Symphony Chorus.

Stop Press

“Violin Concerto is an appealing piece and finely played by Maria Gajdosova; but the Clarinet Quintet is more engrossing in the way that its three movements outline an ultimately tragic narrative… this release further consolidates Blackford’s standing as an accessible yet never facile composer.”

Read the full review of Richard's Instrumental Works in Gramophone's June 2017 issue here.

The Great Animal Orchestra

Here, in an interview with NAMM, Richard discusses his collaboration with Bernie Krause to compose The Great Animal Orchestra.