Conductor, Harpsichordist and Fortepianist
James Richman, celebrating 25 years since his invitation to be Artistic Director of the Dallas Bach Society in 1995, is a prominent harpsichordist and fortepianist and one of today’s leading conductors of Baroque music and opera.
The first musician since Leonard Bernstein to graduate Harvard, Juilliard, and the Curtis Institute of Music, James Richman studied conducting with Max Rudolf and Herbert Blomstedt, piano with Rosina Lhevinne and Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and harpsichord with Albert Fuller and Kenneth Gilbert, and also holds a degree in the History of Science magna cum laude from Harvard College. He was a prizewinner in four international competitions for early keyboard instruments, including first prize in the Bodky Competition of the Cambridge Society of Early Music, laureate of the Bruges Harpsichord Competition and bronze medal in the Paris Harpsichord Competition of the Festival Estival and in the First International Fortepiano Competition (Paris).
Beginning with his days at the Juilliard School with Albert Fuller, he has been an innovator and explorer in the field of Baroque and Classic Music on original instruments, especially in Baroque opera and opera-ballet. In series at Lincoln Center, the French Institute/Alliance Française (Soirées Baroques), Merkin Hall, and Princeton University, his Concert Royal ensemble brought “new” and exciting music from the seventeenth and eighteenth century to life with the finest instrumental and vocal soloists in the field. The ensemble played for every performance of Messiah and the Bach Passions at Saint Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue for decades, including recordings of the Mozart rewrite of Messiah and Anthems and Carols with the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys.
As Music Director of the New York Baroque Dance Company (dir. Catherine Turocy) he has taken a major role in the production of numerous operas of Rameau, Handel, Purcell, Monteverdi, Gluck, Rousseau, and C.P.E. Bach., in addition to numerous performances with the Dallas Bach Society. Other performances include conducting the Hanover Band at the Pollença Festival (Majorca) and five summers conducting Baroque and Classic opera at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.
A recipient of the prestigious United States-France Exchange Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, James Richman was made a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1995, in recognition of his contributions to the field of music.