ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Richard is widely recognised as Australia's leading
guitarist/composer. Born in the UK in 1955 he has lived in Australia since
his parents emigrated in 1963. Largely self-taught he initially started
writing music to expand his own repertoire, but now his works have been
performed and recorded by many leading Australian and international players
and feature on more than 30 CDs including labels such as ABC Classics,
Naxos, Tall Poppies and Move Records. Many of the performers who have
commissioned works from Mr Charlton are among Australia's leading guitarists
such as Timothy Kain, Karin Schaupp and Slava Grigoryan.
His music combines a love of melody with a keen
sense of harmonic and formal structure - music "to entice the ear as well
as the intellect" (Fred Blanks - Northern Herald).
In 2004 Mr Charlton was awarded
Instrumental Work of the Year
at the APRA/AMC Classical Music Awards for his guitar quartet
Stoneworks. In 2005 the UK magazine Classical Guitar, described him
as, "producing some of the most inspired and accessible guitar works of
the present era."
Richard has had works premiered at many major
festivals worldwide, including the Adelaide Festival, the Radio
France International Guitar Week in Paris, the Sonorities Festival
in Belfast, the Hamburg International Guitar Festival, the BDZ
Euro Festival of Zupfmusik and at Australia House and Bolivar Hall in
Mr Charlton uses the guitar in many musical
combinations, collaborating with a diverse range of artists. This has recently
included a work for guitar and string quartet for Matt Withers and the
Acacia Quartet (2018), pieces for Guitar Trek, works for cello and guitar
(Bach in the Dark), as well as music for the ABC Meditation program
Classic Flow which featured William Barton, didgeridoo and Riley
Lee, shakuhachi with guitarist Steve Allen (2019).
Richard's most recent guitar compositions have been a
large-scale solo work for Tim Kain, The Sonata of Forgotten Dreams,
(released on Naxos), a dramatized solo work for Karin Schaupp and a new
quartet for Guitar Trek. His work
as an arranger has seen him contribute to three Katie Noonan/Karin Schaupp
duo CDs, one of which won an ARIA Award.
He has also twice arranged
music for choir and orchestra with guitar for the Lord Mayor's Christmas
Carols in Brisbane. (2014 & 2017)
Mr Charlton has been invited to lecture on
composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, at the Elder
Conservatorium in Adelaide and at Griffith University in Brisbane. He has
also taught in masterclasses at the Royal College of Music in London and has
given chamber music classes for the students of Prof. Maria Isabel Siewers at
the Mozarteum University in Salzburg.
Many of Richard's pieces for students are currently
in the Australian Music Examination Board Syllabus. He has also contributed
pieces to the series Modern Times published by Chanterelle and to the
Ben Verdery Guitar Series published by Frederick Harris Music in Canada.
As former Director of Music Performance at
Ascham School (Sydney) for many years, Richard has been involved with the
creation of many new works for orchestras and vocal ensembles. As a conductor
and educator, he has worked with all kinds of groups from primary school to
mature ages and has conducted a wide variety of orchestras ranging from 80-piece
student guitar ensembles to school choirs and symphony orchestras such as the
St. Istvan Music School Orchestra
(Budapest) and the SBS Youth Orchestra
Highly sought after as teacher, composer and
pedagogue, Mr Charlton has worked with performers all over the world, conducting
workshops at schools as diverse as Perth Modern (WA), Northlands High School
(Buenos Aires) The Centre for Youth Music (Darwin NT), St. Paul's Girls School
(London), the Associazione Musicale di Varese (Italy) the Instituto
Universitario Nacional del Arte (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and at festivals at
Enkhuizen in the Netherlands and Hamburg in Germany.
He is presently the Coordinator of Guitar Studies
and Composer in Residence at Ascham School.
Charlton is represented worldwide by the Australian Music Centre: