Telemann's inspiration for Fantasia No. 11 came from a 1739 visit to Pszczyna in Poland where he heard fiddlers and bagpipers: 'One would hardly believe the inventiveness with which they improvise when the dancers pause for breath'. Richard Craig writes: 'I imagined a similar scene and relished the challenge of recreating the vivacity of folk musicians and dancers in the twists and turns of my ornamentation.'
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Richard writes about his work and career:
'In my various guises as a new music performer, collaborator, improviser/composer I have played alongside musicians such as Rohan de Saram, Roberto Fabbriciani, Barry Guy, Angharad Davies, Rhodri Davies and new music groups ELISION, Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, and the RTÉ Orchestra. Closer to home, I have been a guest musician with most of the UK’s new music groups: Welsh ensemble Uproar, and London-based Riot Ensemble, Ensemble Octandre, Explore ensemble, and in Scotland the Hebrides Ensemble and Red Note. I was a founding member of the Spanish group SMASH and Manchester-based Distractfold Ensemble.
Exploring solo performance has been and continues to be an important journey for me. It has led me to develop a distinctive approach to the flute; to re-invigorate older music, as well as exploring improvised and notated contemporary works.
My own compositions are often a series of smaller works under a collective title: the first being Amp/Al for flute/s and feedback (2012-15) and the most recent being Hortulus Animae (2015 – 2019) for flute/s and fixed media. Composing and improvisation are linked to my interests in the visual arts and I also use video and photography in my work.
Alongside my work as a performer, I am also a teacher. I give masterclasses and lead workshops and seminars in chamber music, ensemble performance and flute playing. I was a Visiting Fellow in Performance at theUniversity of Aberdeen 2010–12. In 2015 I was appointed as a lecturer and Head of Performance at Bangor University, Wales, a post I held until 2019; during this time I was also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield from 2014 to 2019. Outside of academia, I have been invited to teach on courses such as theEstalagem da Ponta do sol residency in Madeira, and also the Distat Terra Academy in Argentina. I received my PhD from Middlesex University in 2020. As a writer I have contributed to publications for Örat, and the Orpheus Institute.
My solo discs INWARD (2011) and VALE (2017) were released on the Métier label: they document my work with composers Esaias Järnegard, Richard Barrett, John Croft, Malin Bång, Brice Pauset, Evan Johnson and Fabrice Fitch. Other recordings of note include the composer John Croft’s monograph disc Seirenes in 2019 (First Hand Records), and two discs with Another Timbre, performing the works of Jürg Frey and Magnus Granberg. I have recorded several albums and live broadcasts for the BBC, WDR Cologne, YLE Finland, Radio France, Radio Nacional de España, Swedish Radio, ARTE, Métier, Another Timbre, FHR, Icelandic RUV, as well as curated releases of repertoire, and my own compositions. In 2021, I will be releasing a re-interpretation of the Telemann Fantasias on the Ulysses Arts label, and composer Oliver Seale’s portrait disc with Scottish label, Delphian.
I studied flute at the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) with Sheena Gordon and later with Richard Blake. After graduating with honours, I continued my studies at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, France, with Mario Caroli with support from a Dewar Award and the Scottish International Educational Trust. As well as working with the full range of flutes from contra to piccolo, I play on two Rudall Carte wooden flutes from the early and mid-20th century, restored for me by Arthur Haswell. One of these instruments was originally commissioned by renowned Italian teacher and soloist Alberto Veggetti (1874 – 1948).
I currently live in Edinburgh where I run my own flute studio.'
Johan Svensson, Nutida Musik
'Pushing the instrument to its technical and expressive limits ... a tour de force.'
Tim Ashley, The Guardian