Richard Lester, known primarily as a harpsichordist, is universally acclaimed as a prominent interpreter of early music on period and modern keyboard instruments. In 1982, Dame Janet Baker chose his recording of Scarlatti sonatas as her favourite on BBC Desert Island Discs, and the English artist, David Gentleman and the sculptor, Sophie Ryder also chose his recordings on their BBC Radio Three Private Passions programmes.
Numerous accolades appear in the Penguin Guide to the 1000 Finest Classical Recordings, International Record Review, Musicweb International’s Recordings of the year, and Classical Net. As a musicologist he regularly contributes articles on early Italian keyboard fingering, organ registration and ornamentation. His latest recording of the complete keyboard works of Bach recently reviewed on Classical Net stated that, ‘The blend of scholarship, understanding and a lifetime’s experience with playing – which is both infused with life and yet wholly respects Bach’s idiom – makes this a release to be snapped up immediately.’
As a former organist and Master of the Choristers at Cirencester Parish Church, and now Associate organist at Buckfast Abbey he also enjoys performing the Romantic and Modern organ repertoire, especially music by Vierne, Reger and Messiaen, with performances in many cathedrals and churches in the UK and on the continent. In 2013 his recital in St Mark’s Basilica, Venice drew a capacity audience.
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