Born in the Los Angeles area in the early sixties, Richard Walker started playing music around age 7. Raised in Santa Barbara until age 9, he enjoyed an immensely varied life and education and has characterized the haphazard lifestyle of his parents as “pseudo-bohemian.” Some of the hair-raising tales he can tell include life as a child of religious cultists, playing music in the
streets for money, and attendance at a Roman Catholic school in a small village on the island of Majorca, Spain.
Richard considers music to be quite literally his salvation, providing the only escape from occasional isolation and poverty. Starting with recorder and flute, he went on to study piano at the late age of 16. Fortunately, he found inspiration and guidance in his mentor, the late Robert Sheldon, who he found through the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and with whom he pursued intensive study in piano performance and interpretation for over a decade. Sheldon was a student of the revered Egon Petri, one of the last century’s greatest pianists, who also provided a direct link to the grand masters Ferruccio Busoni and Franz Liszt.
After living in Spain for several years and in England and France for shorter periods, Richard finally settled in the Bay Area in 1981. He has worked as a soloist, ensemble player and accompanist, has produced many concerts and in 2002 completed his third CD release, his second CD of improvised compositions. His first book, “The Performing Pianist, a Pocket Primer” was printed in its first edition in the summer of 2002. In 2003 Richard co-produced a two-disc set of Ragtime recordings for a Bay Area pianist and prepared a new edition of the virtuosic posthumous masterpiece “Navarra” by Isaac Albéniz. In 2004 his piano composition “Nocturne” was selected for use in the independent film “The Savant” by the film’s producer and director, Robert Elvin. Richard contributed custom audio effects and incidental sound for the film using classical and avant-garde techniques, and scored the music for submission to A.S.C.A.P. Film is currently in post-production, for release in 2008.
Richard’s education includes Montessori pre-school, many years of alternative schooling and tutoring, private music lessons, as well as traditional music training in New Haven Connecticut, Sussex, England, City College of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Future projects Richard is planning include new compositions and concerts, repertoire recordings and ongoing experiments with improvisation as well as investigating music as a force for both physical and spiritual healing.