“Music can hardly be refined to a higher standard…five, no: six stars for a master.” (Akustik Gitarre, Germany – rating ‘A Whisper in the Desert’ on a scale of 5 stars)
“He is one of the most creative voices of his generation. His music is entirely unaffected, sensuous and vital while being full of virtuosity both in its execution and in its composition.” (Concertino – 1/2004)
Education and Background…
Brad Richter (b. 1969, Enid, OK) began teaching himself to play guitar and compose at age 12. At 19, having had no formal musical training, he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship to the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago where he began performing, composing, and eventually teaching professionally. After completing his undergraduate degrees in performance and composition, Brad accepted a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied with guitarist Carlos Bonell and composer Timothy Salter. He became the first guitarist in the college’s history to win the coveted Thomas Morherr Prize for voice accompaniment, and went on to win the Royal College of Music guitar competition before completing his Master’s degree and returning to the US to continue his concert career.
Throughout North America and Europe, Brad has performed as a soloist, with renowned chamber ensembles, and in duos with artists such as Grammy winning cellist, David Finckel of the Emerson String Quartet. In addition to his collections of concert music for solo guitar (published by Mel Bay, Acoustic Music Records and GSP), Brad is an avid composer of his own particular brand of chamber music. He is a winner of the International Composer’s Guild Competition, he wrote and performed a score for the Emmy award winning PBS television series, The Desert Speaks and his most ambitious chamber work, Navigating Lake Bonneville – a concert length work for Soprano. Guitar, Cello, Percussion, Narrator and Choir commissioned by Weber State University – was released on CD in 2008. Brad’s critically acclaimed solo CD, A Whisper in the Desert, is available from Acoustic Music Records.
Brad has taught and performed at music festivals around the world including The World Youth Guitar Festival, The Guitar Festival of Great Britain, The London International Guitar Festival (where he was a co-headliner with Carlos Bonell, Alirio Diaz and John Williams), The Aspen Music Festival, Festival Dr. Alfonso Ortiz Tirado (Mexico) and the Walnut Valley Festival, where he won the National Finger-picking Championship in 1999, a competition that features some of the world’s finest guitarists from all genres.
While at home in Tucson, Arizona, Brad is the Artistic Director of Lead Guitar, a not-for-profit he co-founded in 2006 which establishes guitar programs in schools with large populations of at-risk-youth nationwide. In 2009/2010 Lead Guitar programs are teaching 850 kids to play the guitar and training more than 40 public school teachers to teach guitar.
“…like Franz Liszt with the piano, Brad Richter utilizes techniques of his own invention and brings them into a framework that works so beautifully.” (George Shangrow, KING FM, Seattle)
“Awesome. If there was just one word I could use to describe his performance: that would be it. Awesome. Not just because he is conveniently American, but because he brings something innovative to the world of the classical guitar and he does it unpretentiously with an air of coolness that makes the Fonze seem geeky.”
(Oliver McGhie, Classical Guitar Magazine)
“Richter’s compositions carry the audience away into a world of magical sounds. He captures typical American themes and transforms them into imaginative original music. His cultivated playing is as highly developed as the intelligent sound language of his compositions which move the listener with its emotional depths.” (Concertino 1/2004)