Richard Beauchamp

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Richard Beauchamp was born in New Zealand where he studied with Ernest Empson, (a Godowsky pupil) and performed on radio and television as a recitalist and as soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He completed his studies at the Royal College of Music, London, with Kendall Taylor and Peter Wallfisch in 1975 and joined the staff of St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh, in 1977.

He has a long association with ECAT (Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust), having played in their first ever concert, a Maxwell Davies retrospective in 1980, and many others, including Stockhausen's "Kontakte" with percussionist Andrew Whettam and "The BEAST" (Birmingham Electro-Acoustic Sound Theatre) - subsequently taking the work on a British tour for the Regional Contemporary Music Circuit - the premiere, in 1986, of Lyell Cresswell's "Our Day Begins at Midnight" (from which "The Grammar of Solitude" - premiered in a recital in Paris - is derived), a number of performances of Geoffrey King's "Sonata for Two Pianos" with David Horne - later performing the work at the Almeida Festival, a performance of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" in the original jazz band version, with Dick Lee's Chamber Jazz, an all Ives concert, and a tour with Clark Rundell and the Royal Northern Wind Orchestra, as soloist in Geoffrey King's Piano Concerto, in 1991.

Other performances include a tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Ravel's G Major and Liszt's E Flat Concertos, BBC recitals and appearances as soloist in many concertos, including both of Brahms's and Rachmaninov's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini". His performances, in Amsterdam, Glasgow and Edinburgh, of Lyell Cresswell's piano quintet "And Every Sparkle Shivering", where he joined forces with the New Zealand String Quartet, were very warmly received.

He has been Head of Keyboard for the majority of his years at St Mary's Music School, retiring from the post in April, 2014, but continuing to teach piano and accompany the students. He directed the school's chamber music programme from 1983 until 2008.

He has long had an interest in pedagogy and has lectured on musicians' health and biomechanics to the European Piano Teachers' Association (EPTA) and at "The Glories of the Keyboard" Festival at the RNCM in Manchester. He gave a presentation "The Ergonomics of Piano Playing" at the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine International Conference in Glasgow in August, 2001.

His distinctive multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of piano technique has led to his research being quoted in a number of books, articles and scientific papers.

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Portrait by Hugh Beauchamp
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Copyright Richard Beauchamp - 2002
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