Emma-Ruth Richards is a composer much in demand in the UK and overseas, acclaimed for her understanding of both instrumental and vocal writing which has earned her a role as a favorite among musicians and singers.
2017 saw the premieres of a new commission from London Sinfonietta, a new chamber orchestra piece for Britten Sinfonia premiered at the Barbican Centre, and Two Worlds CD release of You Cannot Fold a Flood. Also in 2017 was a showcase of her new opera Traffick, written with librettist Nic Chalmers. Traffick is commissioned and developed with the Nordland Teater of Norway, the Royal Opera House in London, and Mahogany Opera. The 2018/9 season has seen American premieres with Camerata Pacifica (Nicholas Daniel, oboe) touring California, and two portrait concerts in Manchester’s Stoller Hall including a world premiere with the Zelkova Quartet. Until a Reservoir No Longer Remains, a new cello duet for Classical Brit Award winner Guy Johnston and the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year Sheku Kanneh-Mason, premieres in London in June 2019. Richards is currently working on a new piano trio for the Albany Trio, commissioned by Stoller Hall for International Women’s Day 2019, and a string quartet commissioned for the Carducci Quartet for Presteigne Festival 2020.
Previously, Richards has been commissioned by London Sinfonietta, Opera North Orchestra, London Philharmonia, Håkan Hardenberger, Colin Currie, Nicholas Daniel, Mark Van de Wiel, Paul Silverthorne, Dudok Kwartet, BBC NOW Chamber Players, and The Absolution Saxophone Quartet amongst others. She is a Royal Northern Gold Medal composer and has featured in festivals including Presteigne (2018), Mahogany Opera’s Various Stages Festival (2017), York Spring Festival (2017), Mons Capital of Culture (2015), Southbank’s Changing Britain Festival (2015), Aldeburgh (2014), Sound Scotland (2013), Internationaal Kamermuziekfestival Den Haag (2012), St. Magnus Festival (2012), Sounds New Canterbury (2010), and Music of Today Southbank (2009).
Richards read music at Cardiff University and then completed her PhD at the Royal Northern College of Music. She has since worked with composers such as Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen, Judith Weir, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, and Colin Matthews.
“Accomplished” – Sunday Times
” a composer of exceptional refinement and subtlety … [with] a gift for writing idiomatic, deeply expressive pieces…lucid, impassioned and compelling” – Musical Opinion, Paul Conway
“Highly charged and simply beautiful” – OperaNorth, Bachtrack