orchestral experience gained under such conductors as Sir Adrian
Boult, Sir Georg Solti, Leonard Bernstein and
Rudolf Schwarz was broadened by playing Duke Ellington's
music, under Billy Strayhorn, in a production of Shakespeare's
'Timon of Athens'.
an already developed interest in jazz and rock, Richard's career
underwent a sea change when he was asked to join Polydor Records
as a producer and studio arranger at the height of the sixties.
He stopped playing and began to compose.
opportunity to work in the music industry during such an exciting
period led on to a career as a media composer and studio arranger
in recording, television, film and theatre. Film scores included
'To Kill a Clown' starring Alan Alda and 'Baffled'
starring Susan Hampshire and Leonard Nimoy.
unique, unusual one-off experience for Richard came in 1972 when
he arranged and conducted the Portuguese Eurovision entry 'A festa
da vida' written by José Calvário and performed by Carlos Mendes.
The 7th place result in Edinburgh was Portugal's best until 1996.
Rare video footage can be seen, together with a transcribed biographical
interview with Eurovision conductors' archivist Dr Bas Tukker here
- a retro treat!
television, as well as writing many programme themes for BBC,
ATV and TVS, plus station promos and advertising
jingles, scores for major TV drama series included Arnold Bennett's
'Clayhanger' trilogy starring Janet Suzman, John
Mortimer's 'Will Shakespeare' starring Tim Curry
and Don Shaw's 'Sounding Brass' starring Brian
this period Richard enjoyed worldwide success as co-writer, with
Prof. Nevill Coghill, Martin Starkie and John
Hawkins, of the musical based on Chaucer's 'Canterbury
Tales', which ran for over 5 years in the West End
and became a Broadway production for Frank Loesser,
before embarking on two tours of the USA. 'Canterbury Tales'
enjoyed major productions all over the world, but particularly
in Australia, South Africa and Germany as well as in many other
European countries - and a small, touring version is still performed
a producer, other, widely varied musical adventures coloured Richard's
career, including his production of contemporary composer Cornelius
Cardew's legendary avant garde work for the Scratch Orchestra
'The Great Learning', on the Deutsche Gramophon label.
collaboration with the Choral Scholars of Gonville and Caius
College Cambridge led to the successful formation of the Polydor
recording group 'The Gentle Power of Song' led by Marcus
Bicknell. With them, Richard produced and orchestrated the
classic poetry and music Christmas album 'Peace', since
reissued as 'The Holly and the Ivy' on DGG - and
the beautifully conceived album 'Circus' from which came
the single 'Constant
Penelope' , which became somewhat of a cult production on
the Internet. The GPoS were much influenced by the Beach
Boys, Mamas and Papas and other West Coast vocal folk rock bands.
From 'California Dreamin' then, to Sussex in England, where Richard
became fascinated by the folk music of 'The
Amazing Catsfield Steamers', producing the folk charting album
'United Friends' as well as the highly popular, television oriented
chart album 'Songs of Joy' with the choir of the Pestalozzi
International Children's Village, who went on, under Richard's
leadership, to enjoy Number 1 chart success on Paul McCartney's
single 'Pipes of Peace'.
COMPOSITIONS and PROJECTS.
influence of such a wide spectrum of musical experience, underpinned
by a classical training, shines through Richard's current cross
over compositions for concert hall and theatre, which have attracted
such generous reviews.
his world of sound, jazz musicians naturally integrate with symphony
orchestras, lieder singers perform to synthesizer tracks, actors
narrate poetry to music and the arts of visual imagery and drama
are never far away. The 'Symphony of Jazz'
orchestral concert series with Chris Barber's Jazz Band
[performing over 50 concerts around Europe], 'The
Rime of the Ancient Mariner' music drama [a setting of Coleridge's
epic poem, nationally acclaimed at the Edinburgh Festival] and
the ballet/concert work with narration by Ben Kingsley
'Images from Kubla Khan'. This work was
composed and conducted by Richard with the Grosserundfunkorchester
Berlin and it attracted stunning reviews on its first release
in the USA in 1998. Check out Ben Manning's short film about the
Coleridge location, Alfoxden
House, which uses Richard's music from 'Images from Kubla
Khan' as its soundtrack.
Hill's works reflect that accessible and original style which
defines his contemporary music. As a performer, his album Baroque
Sounds demonstrates his ability to integrate musically sensitive
performances of baroque classics with the technology of the music
recent years Richard has added to his outlets for artistic expression
by creating digital art. You might like
to enjoy the fruits of these labours by visiting the relevant
page on our site.