Brad Richter Educates, Inspires and Entertains
During His Week-Long Guitar Residency at the JACC
Visiting area alternative schools and conducting workshops with our at-risk youth population, Brad Richter will be featured at a week-long guitar residency at the Jacklin Arts & Cultural Center (the JACC) from September 27th through October 1st. Richter finishes his residency at the JACC in concert with cellist Viktor Uzur on Friday, October 1st at 7 pm. Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for students. Please call (208) 457-8950 for more information and to purchase tickets. Richter will also be featured on the National Public Radio’s Guitar Hour on Thursday, September 30th at 11 am for an interview and special live, on-air performance.
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 studied with guitarist Paul Henry and 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 Carlos Bonell. 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’s guitar competition before completing his Master’s degree and returning to the US to continue his concert career.
Brad has performed around the globe as a soloist, with renowned chamber ensembles, and in duos with artists such as David Finckel, cellist of the Grammy-winning Emerson String Quartet and director of chamber music at Lincoln Center. Brad’s concerts, and those of The Richter Uzur Duo (with cellist Viktor Uzur), are featured frequently on NPR broadcasts of American Public Media’s Performance Today as well as NPR’s Classical Guitar Alive. Festival appearances include 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.
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—combining genres such as world music, Native American music, pop and classical. 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 a High Definition Audio CD of 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, which was released in 2008. String Theory, the Richter Uzur Duo’s new CD featuring original compositions and arrangements for guitar and cello by Brad and Viktor, was released in January 2010.
While at home in Tucson, Brad focuses on his work as Artistic Director of Lead Guitar, a not-for-profit he co-founded in 2006, which establishes guitar programs in schools around the US with large populations of at-risk youth. In 2009/2010, Lead Guitar programs are teaching 850 kids to play the guitar and training 40 public school teachers to teach guitar.
Richter Uzur Duo
Since October of 2008, the Richter Uzur Duo has appeared regularly on NPR broadcasts of American Public Media’s Performance Today.
Viktor Uzur and Brad Richter met in 2005 when Brad was commissioned by Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, where Viktor is a cello professor, to write a concert-length chamber piece (Navigating Lake Bonneville). The piece prominently featured cello and guitar, and as it developed, so too did a close friendship and a deep mutual respect that became the foundation for this collaboration.
Viktor and Brad are each classical musicians of the highest caliber with successful international solo careers and intensive training from two of the world’s most lauded musical institutions: The Moscow Conservatory and The Royal College of Music, respectively. Their musical interests and abilities, however, are far from limited to classical music. In their teens and twenties, while developing into classical virtuosi, they cut their teeth in rock bands—Viktor as an electric guitarist and Brad as a guitarist and singer. They also delved into folk and world music, but eventually put those interests aside as they pursued their classical concert careers.
The Richter Uzur Duo may be unique in their fusion of classical, rock, folk music and themes into truly original new compositions—as well as in the way they collaborate. Because they live almost 1,000 miles apart, they do a great deal of composing over phone and internet. They will write parts separately, then combine and re-develop them while on concert tours together. It is rare that two successful classical composers come together to co-write music of such distinction. The fun and friendship Viktor and Brad share in this partnership are obvious on stage and in their music.