Richard Blackford


Richard Blackford studied composition with John Lambert at the Royal College of Music, then with Hans Werner Henze in Rome. Early awards include the Tagore Gold Medal, the Ricordi Prize and the Mendelssohn Scholarship. He was first Composer-in-Residence at Balliol College Oxford, and later Composer-in-Residence to the Brno Philharmonic in the Czech Republic. His works were performed in the major music festivals of the world, including Adelaide, Berlin, Brighton, Montepulciano, Cheltenham, Long Island and the BBC Proms. He has composed in virtually every medium, including opera, choral, orchestral, theatre, film and ballet, with his most recent ballet Biophony (2015) in collaboration with Bernie Krause and Alonzo King, winning “Best Contemporary Performance 2016” in the Italian dance magazine Danza&Danza. As a media composer Richard was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music for his 4-hour score for the CNN/BBC series Millennium, and in 2015 was awarded Die Goldene Deutschland for services to music in Germany. In 2020 he won an Ivor Award in the Choral Category for his work Pietà. His literary collaborators include; Ted Hughes, Maya Angelou and Tony Harrison. He is a Director of the charity Music For Youth, President of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, a Trustee of the Aberystwyth MusicFest and Trustee of The Bach Choir.

Richard Blackford’s music is published by Novello and Nimbus Publishing.

Key Works

Pietà (2019)

For mezzo and baritone soli, mixed chorus, youth chorus, soprano saxophone and string orchestra. Duration 43 minutes.

Niobe (2017)
For solo violin and orchestra. Duration 22 minutes.

Kalon (2017)
For string quartet and string orchestra. Duration 24 minutes.

Seven Hokusai Miniatures (2018)
For string quartet. Duration 25 minutes.

The Great Animal Orchestra (2014)
For orchestra and sampling keyboard. Duration 31 minutes.

Not In Our Time (2011)
For tenor and baritone soli, mixed chorus, youth chorus and orchestra. Duration 55 minutes.

Voices of Exile (2001)
For mezzo-soprano, tenor and baritone soli, mixed chorus, youth chorus and orchestra. Duration 65 minutes.

Mirror Of Perfection (1996)
For soprano and baritone soli, mixed chorus, optional childrens’ chorus and orchestra. Duration 34 minutes.

The Better Angels Of Our Nature (2013)
For solo oboe and string orchestra. Duration 15 minutes.

Clarinet Quintet (Full Moon) (2009)
For clarinet and string quartet. Duration 17 minutes.

Violin Concerto (2007)
For violin and orchestra. Duration 24 minutes.