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Richard Beauchamp

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Sketch of RB

Richard Beauchamp was born in New Zealand where he studied with, among others, Ernest Empson, who was a pupil of Godowsky. He performed on radio and television and appeared as soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Early in his training he became fascinated by the difficulty teachers seem to have in explaining what they mean, and by the fact that what they did was very often different from what they said. This led to a lifelong interest in anatomy and the mechanics of movement. He came to the Royal College of Music, London, in 1973 and, by accompanying other students, was able to observe many different teachers in action. He noted that there were many and often contradictory approaches, and that while some students seemed instinctively to know what the teacher "meant," or to do natural, healthy movements in spite of what was said, many were not so lucky and were not able to develop a reliable and fluent technique. Some instructions contradicted well known mechanical laws, but were held to with an almost religious faith.

Through accompanying students for the cello teacher, Joan Dickson, he attended (and accompanied at) courses given by Paul Rolland, whose research has revolutionised string teaching throughout the world. The teaching of both Joan Dickson and Paul Rolland has had a profound effect on his work - as has the writing of the orthopaedist and hand surgeon, Raoul Tubiana.

In 1977 he joined the staff of St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh, where he has been Head of Keyboard for the majority of his years there until his retirement from the post in April, 2014. The school's chamber music programme was under his direction from 1983 until 2008. He continues to teach piano and accompany the students.

His work as a performer includes much of the concerto repertoire and many performances of new music.

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Contact Richard Beauchamp
For a more complete biography - click here
"From a New Zealand Sheep Farm to a Specialist Music School"
- A Biographical talk given to the Edinburgh Forum in 1998

Sketch by Helen Beauchamp, aged 8 - with permission
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