Coordinator of piano studies at the University of Richmond, Richard Becker is a pianist, composer, and chamber musician whose playing has been acclaimed in Europe and America. Playing on college campuses, he has frequently toured the eastern United States. He has performed at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall, 92nd Street Y, and Carnegie Hall; and at Washington DC’s Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, and at the French Embassy. In Paris, he performed at Salle Cortot as first prize laureate of the French Piano Institute (1996), École Normale de Musique and at Salle Edmond Michelet (1997, 2006), a venue of the Cité internationale des Arts, where he has been a frequent artist-in-residence. As a composer, he has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow and was a nominee for an American Academy of Arts and Letters award.
His performances and his own music have been broadcast on NPR, Voice of America, WNYC, WETA, WGMS and WCVE; and have been featured during a Marshall University Artist Residency; at National Conferences of the Music Teachers National Association, CMS Mid-Atlantic, Brattleboro Chamber Festival, American Music Festival of the National Gallery, and the James Madison University Contemporary Music and the Roxbury (NY) Music Festivals. He has received Meet the Composer grants, Contemporary Music Studio grants and critical acclaim in the press. Mr. Becker’s playing has been described as “powerful” by the Washington Post, “admirable in taste and technique” by the New York Times, and “brilliant with seamless passagework and elegant phrasing” by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Mr. Becker’s playing is grounded in the tradition of Artur Schnabel, acquired during his study with Leonard Shure while at Boston University (M. Mus.). His teaching owes much to the methods of Tobias Matthay, learned from Cecile Staub Genhart during his years at the Eastman School of Music (B.Mus. and Performers Certificate). Mr. Becker taught at the University of Texas and Boston University prior to joining the faculty at University of Richmond.
From composition reviews:
On Saltimbanques for Piano Trio: “…There was much cleverness and intrigue in this music…” Scott Duncan for the Baltimore Evening Sun.
On Five Mementos for Piano Solo: “… passionate, highly expressionistic… reflective in its refined intellectualism… ‘a novel in a sigh’ …dramatic flair… Not every composer-pianist is the best presenter of his/her own work, but Becker the pianist didn’t miss a nuance of Becker the composer. The whole experience made me want to hear lots more of his music.” Dika Newlin for Richmond Times Dispatch.
On Sonata for Two Pianos: “…Exciting, intense, and very expressive…” Elsbit Wayne for the Berkshire Eagle.
Richard Becker’s poetry has been published in America, Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Prose, Cold Mountain Review and The Literary Review in print and online. His compositions have been recorded on CRS and his piano performances on Albany Records.