A nod for our Mr Charlton

Mr Richard Charlton, Ascham’s Composer-in-Residence and Coordinator of Guitar Studies, was recently named one of ‘Nine Outstanding Australian Composers’ in the online music magazine Interlude.

Richard has been teaching at Ascham for 38 years. As well as his current roles, he was formerly Director of Music Performance at Ascham and is a much-loved member of the teaching staff. His guitar ensembles are legendary and the guitar skills of many an Ascham girl have flourished under his tutelage.

Author of the Interlude article, composer and arts journalist Rob J Kennedy, writes ‘The music from living Australian composers is fresh and alive with the sounds of this vast country and the inventive ideas of its many composers. The music and culture of the Aboriginal people from Australia is one of the oldest and most distinctive on earth. Australian music is bursting with energetic and dynamic sounds, and these Nine Outstanding Australian Composers are just the tip of the iceberg in this musically complex country.’

Kennedy includes an extract of a review he had previously written about Richard’s musical piece, Shorelines, stating ‘Charlton’s clear, effective and beautiful tonal writing shows just how much contemporary Australian music has moved on from atonalism and serialism, and how much more accessible it is because of that.’

We have been so lucky to have Richard teach and compose at Ascham for close to four decades. Congratulations, Mr Charlton!

More about Richard:
Widely recognised as Australia’s leading guitarist/composer, Richard Charlton was born in the UK in 1955, he is largely self-taught. Initially writing music to expand his own repertoire, his works have been performed and recorded by many leading Australian and international players and features on labels such as ABC Classics, Naxos, Tall Poppies and Move. Many of the performers who commission him are among Australia’s leading guitarists such as Timothy Kain, Karin Schaupp and Slava Grigoryan. In 2004 Richard was awarded Instrumental Work of the Year at the APRA/AMC Classical Music Awards. Richard’s most recent guitar compositions have been a large-scale solo work for Tim Kain, The Sonata of Forgotten Dreams,  a dramatized solo work for Karin Schaupp and a new quartet for Guitar Trek. His work as an arranger has seen him contribute to three Katie Noonan/Karin Schaupp duo CDs, one of which won an ARIA Award. He has also twice arranged music for choir and orchestra with guitar for the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols in Brisbane.

Highly sought after as teacher, composer and pedagogue, Richard has worked with performers all over the world, conducting workshops at schools as diverse as Perth Modern (WA), Northlands High School (Buenos Aires) The Centre for Youth Music (Darwin NT), St. Paul’s Girls School (London), the Associazione Musicale di Varese (Italy) the Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arte (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and at festivals at Enkhuizen in the Netherlands and Hamburg in Germany.

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