Brad Richter took an interest in guitar at a very young age but, in the absence of opportunities to study guitar formally in his home town – Enid, OK, he began teaching himself to play guitar and compose at the relatively late age of 12. At 19, still with no formal musical training, Brad was awarded the Presidential Scholarship to the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, where he began his first serious study of classical music. He became a teacher at the Conservatory after only two years, completing his undergraduate degrees in performance and composition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts.
For graduate study, Brad was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied with legendary guitarist 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. In 1994, he completed his Master’s degree and returned to the U.S. to continue his concert career.
The concerts and recordings of Brad Richter and the Richter Uzur Duo (with cellist Viktor Uzur) are featured regularly on national NPR and PBS broadcasts, including dozens of performances on NPR’s Performance Today and PBS’s WoodSongs. NPR’s Classical Guitar Alive featured the RUDuo’s album String Theory as a ‘Best New Release’ in 2010.
Richter’s festival appearances include The Aspen Music Festival and School, The World Youth Guitar Festival, The London International Guitar Festival (where he was a co-headliner with Carlos Bonell, Alirio Diaz and John Williams), FAOT in Mexico, and Espressivo Music Festival in Montenegro. In 1999 at The Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, Brad won the National Finger-Picking Championship, a competition that features some of the world’s finest guitarists from all genres.
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 that establishes guitar programs in schools around the U.S. with large populations of at-risk youth. In 2012/2013, Lead Guitar programs are teaching more than 1,500 kids to play the guitar and are training more than 50 public school teachers to teach guitar.
Sky Islands is honored to be one of the schools that has been chosen to participate in this exciting program for the 2015-16 school year! Stay ‘tuned’ for more details.