Performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto on his 22nd birthday, Irish violinist Richard Thomas made his solo debut at Dublin’s National Concert Hall alongside the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Following his debut, Richard’s career began to blossom after taking first prize at the 2017 edition of the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Award. This award allowed Richard the use of a Nicolaus Gagliano violin from Florian Leonard Fine Violins, upon which, he gave several concerts and recitals, including solo engagements with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Studio Symphony Orchestra, radio broadcasts on RTÉ Radio One, and an evening recital at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, with pianist Gary Beecher. Richard has also recorded Mozart’s A Major Violin Concerto with Camerata Ireland under the baton of Barry Douglas and has enjoyed performing chamber works at Camerata Ireland’s Clandeboye Festival.
Richard is an avid orchestral player, all the while continuing to hold a great love of chamber music. He has led string quartets at the West Cork and Sligo international chamber music festivals alongside working with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Wexford Festival Opera, Ulster Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra, of which he was Guest Principal Second Violin for their 2023 spring season. Richard very much looks forward to joining the wonderful second violin section of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra this coming May.
Richard began his musical studies at the age of five with Loretto Nelson. After many wonderful years under her direction, Richard furthered his studies with Dr Fionnuala Hunt, culminating in the completion of a Bachelor in Music Performance degree with First Class Honours at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. During this time, Richard also spent a term under the tutelage of Ernst Kovacic at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Vienna. Following his undergraduate studies, Richard secured scholarships to study at the Royal College of Music, London, and later at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, graduating both with distinction and winning the Anthony Cross Memorial Prize in Birmingham. Richard has also had the great pleasure of participating in masterclasses with many renowned violinists and pedagogues, including Maxim Vengerov and Mauricio Fuks. It is with the utmost gratitude that Richard plays on his father’s 1920 Giuseppe Pedrazzini violin.