Richard Stoker:


Born On The: 8th November 1938.
Died On The: N/A.
Occupation(s): Composer, conductor & musician, author and actor.

Zodiac: Born under the Star Sign ScorpioScorpioWhat Star Sign are You?

Achievement(s): FRAM - A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, ARAM - An Associate of the Royal Academy of Music & ARCM - An Associate of the Royal College of Music.


Richard Stoker was born in Castleford, in 1938 and he is a polymath; not only is he an accomplished musician involved in composing, teaching, playing and musicology, he also writes poetry, novels, short stories, articles and reviews and is involved in human rights issues; for example, he gave practical help to the composer Mikis Theodorakis who had suffered imprisonment under the Greek military regime.

He composed music from an early age and studied at the Huddersfield School of Music with Winifred Smith and Harold Truscott; later studies took him to the Royal Academy of Music in London with Lennox Berkeley and as a Mendelssohn Scholar to Paris with Nadia Boulanger.

He was professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music between 1962 and 1987; his composition students have included Eleanor Alberga, Irvine Arditti, Harvey Brough, Christopher Fox, Joe Jackson, Jane Palmer, Paul Patterson and Malcolm Singer.

His three-act opera, Johnson Preserv'd, received its world premiere in London in 1967; in the early 1970s he visited New York for the American premiere of his Third String Quartet; his music has been broadcast regularly, performed worldwide and is recorded on many albums and CDs.

He has composed for nearly every possible form of musical composition and there are more than a hundred works in his catalogue; he has written a Piano Concerto, two operas, symphonies, much piano music and a number of organ pieces; much of his effort is concerned with providing music for particular commissions, often resulting in unusual and interesting combinations of instruments and vocal resources.

He was introduced to film music writing by the Director of Music of Elstree Studios, Stanley Black; he later worked with Philip Martell, Music Director of Hammer Films and Adviser to MCA Films.

His stage and TV credits include Troilus and Cressida (Old Vic), Lysistrata, and Galileo (Goldsmiths), Rape of the Belt (RAM), Romeo and Juliet (West End), My Friend - My Enemy (The Place), Zampogna (Tyne Tees) and The Garden Party (Coliseum - danced by Dame Margot Fonteyn, choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton and Peter Darrell, with designs by Andy Warhol).

His film credits include The End of the Line (BFS), Titanic (Pathe News), Advance Democracy (ACS Productions), Portrait of a Town (Standard Pictures), Lear and Goneril (Atelier Productions), Forever Joy (Nitrame) and In Control (Moviecraft); he has also acted in Woolfman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes, Sanctus, Kezz and Dark Shadows.

He has appeared on BBC1, BBC2, BBC4, Channel 3 and 4, BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, Radio London, Radio Leeds and LBC; as a pianist and keyboard player he has performed at the South Bank, on BBC Radios 3 and 4, on BBC TV1 and on LBC; also as a jazz pianist at Pizza on the Park, the Nachlite Club and London University Union.

His first volume of autobiography, Open Window - Open Door, was published by Regency Press in 1985 and he was nominated Man of the Year in 1997 by the American Biographical Institute (ABI); he wrote a children's novel, Tanglewood, which was published by Merlin Books in 1993 and he also wrote Diva a novel and Collected Short Stories, which was published by Minerva in 1998; he has received several awards from the American Poetry Society and he also became editor of Composer magazine between 1969 and 1980.

He was commissioned by the Oxford 'Dictionary of National Biography' (OUP 2004) to write the entries on eight musicians: Sir Thomas Armstrong, Arthur Benjamin, Alan Bush, Eric Fenby and Robert Simpson, Harold Truscott and Janet Craxton and most recently, Anthony Milner; since then he has been appointed advisor to the DNB (2004) which is also available on-line.

He belongs to the following organisations: PRS, MCPS, BACS (Legal Affairs Committees), RAM Guild (Founder Member, Committee and Hon Treasurer), Atlantic Council (founder-member), Blackheath Poetry Society, International PEN, English PEN and the Royal Society of Literature.

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