B i o g r a p h y
Richard Gowers, born 1994 in Cambridge, is a British pianist, organist and conductor. His extensive schedule features performances not only around the UK, but across Europe and further afield in the USA, Far East and Australia. He has frequently appeared live on BBC Radio 3, as well as Radio 4, Classic FM, LBC and BBC Television, and in 2018 his critically-acclaimed debut CD of Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur was awarded a Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’. As of 2023 he is the Director of Music at St George's Hanover Square, Handel's church in London.
As an concert organist he has given recitals extensively across Europe at festivals in France, Iceland, Germany and Sweden, and in multiple British cathedrals and town halls. He has made three tours of the USA, as well as a series of recitals in Australia, and has performed with choirs such as the BBC Singers, CBSO Chorus, Helsinki Philharmonic Choir, Choeur de l’Opéra National de Montpellier and Tenebrae. This season’s recitals include the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, Glasgow and Leeds Cathedrals, Westminster Abbey and Brompton Oratory, as well as the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. In October 2023 he will give his debut conducting the Academy of Ancient Music on tour at the Monreale Festival of Sacred Music in Sicily.
Highly sought-after as an orchestral keyboard player, this year’s performances include BBC Proms appearances in the BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra, a summer tour with the Aurora Orchestra and concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Philharmonia. As a freelance keyboard player he regularly works for the BBC Singers, London Symphony Chorus and privately for leading conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Edward Gardner and Francois-Xavier Roth.
As a pianist he specialises in song repertoire and chamber music. In 2017-19 he held a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Michael Dussek and Joseph Middleton and won prizes for song accompaniment and chamber music. In 2018 he participated in the International Music Students Festival in Kyoto, Japan, and in April 2019 he took part in Wigmore Hall’s first Liederabend of the works of Carl Loewe with members of the Royal Academy Song Circle. In duo partnership with tenor Kieran Carrel, he was awarded the Schubert Institute UK Prize at the 2019 Leeds Lieder Festival, and was a finalist in the 2019 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the 2021 Helmut Deutsch Song Competition in Vienna. He curates the series of Hanover Square Lunchtime Concerts in London.
Richard grew up in Cambridge in a family of academics, and was a chorister in the Choir of King’s College, where he sang the famous ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ solo at the 2007 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. He spent a year studying organ and piano at the Mendelssohn Conservatoire in Leipzig before returning to King’s as organ scholar in 2014-2017 and graduating with a starred first in Music. He is currently studying for a Konzert Examen degree in Stuttgart with the American virtuoso Nathan Laube.
Richard is based in London, where he combines performing with teaching positions at Cambridge University, Tiffin and Westminster Schools and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. As Director of Music at St George’s Hanover Square he conducts their professional choir each week and runs an extensive music programme. In May 2020 he started an online Harmony course for disadvantaged incoming music students, which has since been adopted annually by Cambridge University.