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Biography

Richard Gordon-Smith is a Composer, Music Educator and violinist. Previously a member of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, he now commits himself full-time to educational and community activities in schools and elsewhere, and to serious composition. Richard has a substantial list of compositions to his credit, and has had work recorded and played in many parts of the world. He is adept at developing music with young people to produce scores for professional performance.

Richard Gordon-Smith was born in Croydon in 1951, studied at the Royal College of Music in London, taught in Coventry, and played for the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, before joining the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as a violinist in 1980. The four-year period in Belfast produced a handful of compositions, including the Brass Quintet, The Age of Bronze and the Violin piece Paths of the Mystic Rose.

On joining the RLPO Richard’s composition output increased dramatically. The RLPS commissioned Welcome Carol in 1988, the orchestral children’s drama Soundcastle in 1992, the riotous concert piece Hot House in 1994 and the oratorio Lowlands Away in 1996. For this work Richard was awarded the coveted 1996 Merseyside Arts and Entertainments Award.

Other commissions include the popular Zoo Suite, (versions for Brass Octet and Orchestra), the Percussion Sextet Engineerium (RNCM 1989), two further works for Brass Octet, Festival Fanfare and Fantasia, a Ballet for Wind Orchestra The Bacchae, the Arts Suite Hotfoot On Hope Street (HOPES, 1997), the Flute Quartet Orison to the Wind (1998) and Overture NOW!, a tribute to British orchestras. There is also much other chamber music, including a String Quartet, and a Clarinet Quartet.

Richard is no stranger to the conductor’s baton, and has directed his own and others’ music at Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool and elsewhere in Britain.

Richard’s Trade Winds, Op.42 A Masque of Liverpool and the Sea, was commissioned by HOPES: The Hope Street Association with the help of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society.

Richard Gordon-Smith’s music is played in many different parts of the world – Europe, America, Africa, China and Japan – and broadcast on radio and television.

Richard is a member of the PRS, and the British Music Writers’ Council. He was Composer in Residence to HOPES: The Hope Street Association from 1999 to 2009.

In a wholly new departure for him, Richard is presently engaged in writing his first novel – please see the Blog page for more details.

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