"Fully at home in the cello's world, Birchall brilliantly exploited the instrument's facets, from autumnal melancholy and comic surprise to the percussive effect of scurrying fingers tapping the wood. I only wished the piece had been longer." (Alice in Wonderland)
- The Times -
"An evidently gifted composer as well as performer"
- The Guardian -
"Masterly arrangements... it's impossible to imagine that the composer would be anything other than highly approving"
- International Record Review -
"This might just be the most beautiful thing of Christmas 2016" (on Richard's arrangement for cellos of Silent Night)
- Classic FM-
Richard Birchall read Music at Cambridge University (studying composition with Giles Swayne) and studied as a postgraduate cellist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London under Louise Hopkins.
Richard pursues a varied and colourful career as cellist, composer, arranger and orchestrator. As no. 3 cello in the Philharmonia Orchestra he performs regularly in the great concert halls of the world; he has also appeared as Guest Principal cello with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and Irish Chamber Orchestra, and as concertmaster of the London Cello Orchestra. Richard’s solo and chamber work has ranged from Wigmore Hall to the catwalk at London Fashion Week. He is a founder member of cello octet Cellophony and cellist of the Minerva Piano Trio.
Richard's arrangements and compositions have been performed at the BBC Proms, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, The Purcell Room, The Sage Gateshead and throughout the UK, and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and French and German national radio. As an arranger and orchestrator Richard has been commissioned by the Philharmonia, the London Cello Orchestra, the Doric and Tippett quartets, and violist Lawrence Power. In recent years Richard has turned increasingly to original composition. His piece Mirrors was written for Cellophony and premiered in the Park Lane Group series at the Purcell Room in January 2011; since then he has completed a number of works, following commissions by the Royal Ballet School, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Minerva Trio, the Piatti Quartet, and from individual artists. Recent works include Perhaps for soprano and orchestra; The Wind in the Willows for eight cellos and narrator (premiered in London with actor Simon Callow); Delirium for two violins; a second string quartet, Hands; and a set of cadenzas for Mozart's Flute & Harp Concerto, premiered by Samuel Coles and Catrin Finch with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Michael Collins.
Richard has served as Deputy Chairman of the Philharmonia, and currently sits on the Advisory Board of MusicArt London.