Richard is a composer and conductor based in Bristol. He curated and directed Elektrostatic, an acclaimed new music series at the Colston Hall and Arnolfini for many years and is a guest composition lecturer at Bristol University.
His music is often influenced by extra-musical ideas, particularly linked with nature, and frequently combines live performance and electronics. Recent composition commissions include a full length opera for Welsh National Opera (The Hidden Valley), a 30-minute dance piece for National Dance Company of Wales (Recovered Visions), a choral piece to mark the reopening of the Colston Hall, a 70-minute community opera for Welsh National Opera Max and a choral song for Opera North. His music has received national and international performances by musicians including BBC Singers, Juice, Kungsbacka Trio, Mikhail, Delta Saxophone Quartet, Bristol Ensemble and Bristol Cathedral Choir. Richard has written and recorded scores for feature-length and short films and works on innovative collaborative projects with film-makers, writers and artists.
He regularly leads education projects with many of the major international musicians and groups, including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Eighth Blackbird, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Manchester Camerata, London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia and Music Theatre Wales.
MMus Masters Degree in Composition, Guildhall School of Music and Drama
BMus (first class) Degree in Music, Birmingham University
THE HIDDEN VALLEY
"Creative, inventive and beautiful... The music is fascinating: like a series of sound-paintings. The score is full of strangely eloquent dissonance, producing mysterious depths and colours to explore throughout.... The sounds are ethereal, almost alien at times, with a well-drawn distinction between the melodic music of mortals and the music of the divine world, full of eerie harmonies which build to unexpectedly natural resolutions, with percussion adding texture and emphasis."
Charlotte Valori, One Stop Arts, Aug 2013
"Barnard's music wove folk elements into more complex strands, with the musical material... synthesised into a single rather fascinating texture...
this was an immensely impressive and confident performance which made me hope so see more of Barnard's work."
Robert Hugill, August 2013
"Enterprising dalliance with the new"
Venue Magazine Oct 2009
"Bristol's flagship purveyor of the new... voraciously open-minded"
Venue Magazine May 2010
"8/10 - Intruiging...refreshing... Roger Huckle, Neal Farwell and Richard Barnard again shared their joy of contemporary music."
Bristol Evening Post May 2010
ON RICHARD BARNARD'S MUSIC:
"Eerily beautiful high concept classical composition"
Venue Magazine on Routes from Here
"The music learned from the practical simplicity of Britten and others without ever losing its own, fresh and up to date, characterisation and energy. A really difficult task brought off with great aplomb."
Composer Geoff Poole on The Journey
“I immensely enjoyed your O Magnum Mysterium … I do think other choirs would benefit from and enjoy singing it.”
Dr Andreas Prindl CBE: Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians
“Otto was perfect … moving, witty, beautifully balanced and integrated within a tricky medium… a marvellous bridge between composition and musicology.”
Professor Stephen Banfield: Head of Music, Bristol University.
“An ethereal soundtrack… as if voices of angels are blending with the impossible sounds of breathing and footsteps of the ghostly hosts”
Big Issue – Best Art Installation: Hosts, Feb 13-19 2006
“You pulled together a wonderful performance at Blackheath and it was clear that the participants really enjoyed the project... Howard [Skempton] was delighted with the performance.”
Abigail Pogson: SPNM Executive Director
“I can’t take my eyes off Trombone Alterations... I love the coexistence of sight and sound - neither one detracting from the other. Of all I’ve seen at Corsham Festival, this is my absolute favourite”
Lizzy Ward: Corsham Festival Team