“…deftly moving his bow as a master artist might move his brush, full of oil paint across a canvas.”
Praised by Gramophone Magazine for his “captivating sensitivity” and “exhilarating authority,” Australian cellist Richard Narroway enjoys an international career as a sought-after performer, recording artist, and teacher. He has given performances across Australia, North America, Europe, and Asia, in prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center, Chicago Symphony Center, Koerner Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. As a result of his stylistic versatility, innovative programming, and wide-ranging musical pursuits, Richard has earned an international reputation as one of his generation’s most notable artists.
In 2017, Richard made his recording debut with Bach’s Six Cello Suites, released to international acclaim. Gramophone described the recording as “riveting…an adventure in expressive possibility.” Since its release the album has been streamed over a million times, and continues to gain impressive traction around the world. Other recent highlights include a recital of the complete Piatti Caprices at the Sala Piatti, a historic venue in the composer’s hometown of Bergamo, Italy, which received stellar reviews from the local press; as well as a performance of Tan Dun’s Cello Concerto at the 2017 Aspen Music Festival, which was selected as one of the top 12 performances of the season by The Aspen Times.
Richard’s numerous competition titles include top prizes at the 2010 Stulberg International String Competition, Third Beijing International Cello Competition, and the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition. In addition he was a past recipient of the prestigious Australian Music Foundation Young Musician Award, an honour reserved for Australia’s most promising young artists. Most recently he was named winner of The Music Trust’s 2020 Freedman Classical Fellowship, awarded to an exceptional instrumentalist annually.
A passionate advocate of new music, Richard’s collaborative projects with composers have taken him all around the globe, resulting in premiere performances in the United States, China, Australia, and New Zealand. From 2016-18 he performed as part of the resident contemporary ensemble at the Aspen Music Festival, premiering dozens of new works. In 2018 he also became a founding member of the Four Corners Ensemble (4CE), a group dedicated to celebrating diversity through new music. Since its inception, 4CE has been featured in collaborations and residencies with the Hartford Opera Theater, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the University of Michigan, and the Hartt School.
Deeply committed to community engagement and innovation, he takes a particular interest in devising projects that bring classical music to a wider audience. In 2019 he completed a video series involving tutorials of the twelve Piatti Caprices, uploaded on Youtube. In addition, from 2016-18 he served as co-founder and artistic director of Chamber Music Michigan, an organization committed to bringing chamber music to communities across the state. He also enjoys cross-disciplinary collaborations, such as his work in 2015 with the Mark Morris Dance Group’s Dance for PD (a project offering dance classes for people with Parkinson’s disease) to produce a recording of the Bourrées from Bach’s Cello Suite no. 3 as part of a global repertory project to be used by the 100 Dance for PD classes around the world. In the same year, Richard embarked on a multi-state tour around Australia performing and presenting the complete Bach Suites as well as a selection of contemporary Australian compositions in an effort to share the music through concerts, educational workshops and various events. Aside from the artistic and educational components of this project, Richard was also interested in bringing attention to Australia’s natural landscapes and cultural history. He highlighted this perspective by recording distinctly Australian works in unique settings around the country.
Richard’s former teachers and mentors include Hans Jensen, Richard Aaron, David Finckel, and Brinton Smith. He also enjoyed early studies with Susan Blake and Takao Mizushima in Sydney, Australia. He earned degrees from the Juilliard School and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, before completing a Doctorate at the University of Michigan, where he also served as teaching assistant. In 2018 he was named a Rebanks fellow at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he served as teaching assistant to professor Hans Jensen. Currently, Richard is Lecturer in Cello at the prestigious Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne.