Richard Durrant - Concert Guitarist
Richard Durrant has never felt comfortable being referred to as a classical guitarist, preferring the term concert guitarist. Considering the difference between these two job descriptions is a good way of beginning to understand this artist. His guitar playing is richly romantic, truly virtuosic and crosses all musical boundaries. Unusually he performs standing up, his concerts are usually amplified and he often includes projected images.
Born in Brighton, by the time he entered the Royal College of Music (at the age of 18) Durrant was an experienced performer with a growing reputation. The fact that he spent much of his college career singing Bob Dylan songs in London's tube stations hinted that he was unlikely to follow a conventional route through the profession. Indeed, following his debut recital at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London in 1986, Richard turned sharply left and pursued his diverse interests in electro/acoustic music, improvisation, composition and multi-media. These interests led to Richard's high-achieving early career, noteworthy as much for its display of versatility as his tendency towards perfectionism.
In 2008 Richard Durrant made the career changing decision to concentrate exclusively on touring as a soloist, since when his creative force has been focussed entirely onto the guitar fingerboard and the associated issues of staging and presentation. Coincident with this decision was the arrival of a radical new instrument designed, built and patented by UK luthier Gary Hearn. The guitar (The Richard Durrant Concert Model, or RDCM) has helped Durrant develop his uniquely rich, romantic sound.
In recent years Durrant has won a devoted audience who have warmed to his relaxed, easy going manner, his obsession with innovative presentation and unpredictable choice of music. A recent magazine article (Classical Guitar May 2012) referred to his cross bench status; the journalist was impressed that the concert he chose to attend took place in a rock venue and attracted a large audience - but this musician is unpredictable, one is just as likely to see him appearing as guest soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
In addition to his extensive UK touring and occasional forays into Europe Durrant visited Paraguay for the first time in 2011. During this successful concert tour he launched the first album in his Paraguayan trilogy titled: The Number 26 Bus to Paraguay. This album is still the only collection of Barrios’ guitar works to be launched in Paraguay by a foreign artist. The awards and accolades followed and Durrant returned to Paraguay a year later to launch the second album in the series titled: Hijo de Hombre. He also gave the Paraguayan premiere of the Villa-Lobos guitar concerto under the baton of maestro Luis Szaran. In 2013 he was invited to perform the Aranjuez Concerto in Asuncion to mark the reopening of the British Embassy in Paraguay. The concert included the premiere of Durrant's specially comissioned work for five celli and guitar "Lamento y Danza". Richard is returning to Paraguay, in October 2015 as Artistic Director for the Guitarras del Corazon congress
Richard has recently completed a 1,500 mile, 7 week, 36 venue concert tour of England towing his entire stage show on a bicycle. This very 21st century tour was undertaken with Richard's friend and co-rider Sean Simington carrying the lightng rig on his bike whilst Richard carried the remaining 45 kilos of show equipment, including the PA system, in a trailer and panniers. The tour was featured on ITV's Cycle Show and there are a series of video blogs that can be veiwed here
Richard was recently added to Brighton's Walk of Fame, where he has his own interactive paving slab!
He is Patron of Sussex based Guitars on the Beach, Ambassador for the Brighton Youth Orchestra and Board advisor to Paraguayan organisation Guitarras del Corazon.
Richard lives on a beach in Sussex with his wife, four children, a cat called Stan and a huge black Newfoundland called Bollo.