Richard Emms

Conductor, composer and consummate musician.

Richard’s early musical life was largely self-taught, beginning with the piano, and quickly learning a wide concert repertoire. By the age of 18, his musical imagination was fired by Beethoven in particular, playing all the piano sonatas. As an education student, his gift for composition emerged in parallel with that of conducting, and he was invited to rehearse the college choir.

During his formal musical training at Birmingham University, Richard continued to conduct ad hoc choirs and orchestras. Over the years his conducting has ranged from award-winning primary school choirs to forming “scratch” choirs and orchestras to perform major choral works, with all the joyous hurly-burly that this entails!

Richard and his family settled in Shipston in 1975. Conscious of the need for further musical life in the community, he formed a small choir, which quickly grew to the full and flourishing choral society, Stour Singers. He retired from school teaching in 1995, and in 1997 founded Cantamus, which allows him to indulge and share his particular love for a cappella choral music.

Much of his musical life centres round the choirs, and the members of Cantamus find themselves both stretched and fulfilled in responding to his direction, as his gift for teaching enables them to explore the music and its context. Richard continues to delight Cantamus in creating imaginative arrangements of music, using the full vocal range and capacity of the choir.

Richard is indeed conductor, composer and consummate musician.