Biography

Richard Colquhoun is an award-winning trumpet player from Bristol. His work as a player includes solo and ensemble music in a wide variety of styles.

Richard grew up in Wells, Somerset and began playing the cornet in a local brass band at the age of eleven with encouragement from trumpet player John Wilbraham. He started performing as a soloist with the band after only two years and quickly rose to the position of Principal Cornet by the age of fourteen. Alongside playing in brass bands he also played in the youth big band COSYJO, which he joined at the age of twelve. At the time he was the youngest player to be selected to play in the senior band and after another year he had moved up to lead trumpet. Between the ages of fifteen and eighteen he shared the position of first trumpet in the Somerset County Youth Concert Band.

In 1998 Richard successfully auditioned to study music at the Wells Cathedral School where he studied under the direction of Paul Denegri. Whilst at Wells he played in the Symphony Orchestra, Large Brass Ensemble (piccolo trumpet) and Big Band (lead trumpet). During that time the brass and percussion department went on tour to San Francisco. He received masterclasses from Crispian Steele-Perkins and John Miller.

After leaving the school Richard went on to study at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales’ Principal Trumpet Philippe Schartz as his primary teacher. He also took lessons from Steve Keavy on the natural trumpet and had masterclasses from Leonard Candelaria, James Watson and Crispian Steele-Perkins. He performed with the Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Chamber Wind Ensemble, Contemporary Music Ensemble, Large Brass Ensemble and Big Band.

In 2003 he won the Linda Mowat Prize for Brass for his solo playing on the piccolo trumpet and in the same year successfully auditioned for a placement scheme with the BBC Orchestra. During that time the brass department toured in Malta and in his final year he lead a brass quintet that performed toured the UK representing the college. Upon graduation he received the Principal’s Award for valuable contribution to the work of the college.

Since leaving education Richard has worked as a freelance musician and teacher in the Bristol, Somerset and South Wales areas. Recent work has included playing with function bands Session One, DT8, Funkty Dumpty, The name is Band, Doctor Chocolate and The Riverbrew; salsa band Fiesta Resistance; Ska Bands The Communicators and King Walrus and Manana; Dorset Chamber OrchestraDorset Bach Cantata Club, plus many choral societies; various musical theatre companies and on studio recordings. In the past Richard has taught at and played music for the University of the West of England. He has taught in over twenty schools in South Wales, Bristol and Somerset and conducted training bands for Lions Brass 4 Youth and Cardiff and Vale Music Service. Until its recent collapse he was a volunteer for 37th Kingswood Drum and Bugle Corps.

In December 2014 Richard performed Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat with the Corinium Camerata. A review of the concert by Theresa Finzi described the performance as:

“…beautifully played by Richard Colquhoun, who employed a delightful singing tone throughout and brought real clarity and character to the music.”

In recent years Richard has taken a keen interest in trumpet pedagogy, studying new and old techniques and equipment to better understand how to help others to play better. A particular area of interest has been the work of Jerome Callet (embouchure specialist and instrument designer) and Robert ‘Bahb’ Civiletti (renowned natural trumpet soloist and Tongue-Controlled-Embouchure proponent). He has taken lessons from both of these teachers and written extensively in an attempt to fight mis-information that can be found online about this system of playing. At this time Richard is the only teacher in the UK who specialises in teaching this technique.