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, Carnegie Hall, 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), l’École Normale de Musique and at Salle Edmund 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 Conlony 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, at CMS-Mid-Atlantic, at Brattleboro Chamber Festival, at the American Music Festival of the National Gallery, 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. 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.
Becker’s playing is grounded in the tradition of Arthur 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). Becker taught at the University of Texas and Boston University prior to joining the faculty at University of Richmond.
In recent years, his poetry has been published in journals such as America, Columbia, Visions-International, Cold Mountain and his poetic sequence, FATES, as a chapbook of The Literary Review, Summer, 2008 in print and online. His compositions have been recorded on CRS and his piano performances on Albany Records.