Richard Carrick, a Guggenheim fellow, is a composer, conductor and pianist who writes music of spatial depth and robust stasis, characterized by continual development and the evocation of profound human experiences. Described both as "charming, with exoticism and sheer infectiousness" and "organic and restless" by The New York Times, Carrick's music is influenced by his multicultural background and experiences as well as his commitment to inspire professionals, audiences and youth through composition and live performance. 


His recent CD release, Cycles of Evolution, incorporates pieces commissioned and performed by Musicians of the New York Philharmonic, Either/Or, Sweden’s Ensemble Son, Hotel Elefant, and DZ4. Carrick conducts or performs on all works on this CD, which includes his 'apocalyptic' multimedia work for performers and video, Prisoner's Cinema. Carrick's first recording also on New World Records, the “rich, beguiling” (The New York Times) extended chamber composition Flow Cycle for Strings, translates psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's 'flow' principle into sonic terms. Carrick's improvisation-based disc Stone Guitars garnered critical attention in both the new music and guitar worlds, causing American Record Guide to note 'it may change your perception of electric guitar'.

Carrick’s String Quartet #2 - Space:Time, a Fromm Foundation commission was recently premiered by the MIVOS Quartet.  A 2015 Gugak International Workshop Fellow, Carrick is writing a new work for Korean traditional instruments for the Pacific Rim Festival.  His latest piano works, la touche sonore sous l’eau and Les Ciels de Kigali were both premiered by Marilyn Nonken.  His music has been programmed and presented internationally at festivals including NYPHIL BIENNIAL,  ISCM World Music Days-Switzerland, Mid-American New Music Festival, and Darmstadt Summer Festival, and performed by musicians including the JACK Quartet, Nieuw Ensemble, Sequitur Ensemble, Musica Nova (Tel Aviv), Tony Arnold, Magnus Andersson, Steven Schick, Rohan de Saram, and others.

Carrick is co-founder and co-artistic director of the contemporary music ensemble Either/Or, declared 'first rate' and ‘a trustworthy purveyor of fresh sounds’ by The New York Times, and winner of the 2015 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. As conductor and pianist, Carrick has worked with many celebrated composers including Helmut Lachenmann, Jonny Greenwood, Chaya Czernowin, Elliott Sharp, George Lewis, Alvin Lucier, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Iancu Dumitrescu and Rebecca Saunders. Carrick conducting E/O's ambitious presentation of John Cage's Party Pieces brought together 125 renowned composers from around the world.

Carrick started as Chair of Composition at Berklee College of Music in September 2016, after living a year in Kigali Rwanda composing, developing teaching programs for local children, and creating a new arrangement of the Rwandan National Anthem for the Military.  He has presented masterclasses and lectures throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Former posts include composition faculty at New York and Columbia Universities, and teaching artist for the New York Philharmonic through which he has mentored hundreds of young composers internationally.

A US/French citizen born in Paris of French-Algerian and British descent, Carrick received his BA from Columbia University, PhD from the University of California-San Diego with Brian Ferneyhough, and pursued further studies at IRCAM and the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague.  Scores distributed by Project Schott New York.

_Bio by Brad Balliett

2015-16 season

In 2015 Carrick was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Musical Composition. He moved to Rwanda where he was commissioned to pen a new official arrangement of the Rwandan National Anthem for the Rwandan Military Band.  He had five premiers during this time, La touche sonore sous l'eau and Les Ciels de Kigali were both premiered by the luminary pianist Marilyn Nonken in NYC and throughout the Northeast. Trust, a collaboration with choreographer Miro Magloire was commissioned by Periapsis Music and Dance in NYC. He was invited to Tel Aviv as featured composer and performer with the established new music ensemble Music Nova to premiere Rwandan Images for cello, video, and prerecorded cello and bird sounds and a new arrangement of his Stone Guitars.  His piano and orchestra piece Waterfall was premiered in Kigali (during a rainstorm that rained on the stage and audience!) with Carrick as soloist and Injyanga Orchestra, the first western orchestra in Rwanda. 

Teaching activities include leading two young composer workshops, the New York Philharmonic Very Young Composers workshops in Or Yehuda, Israel and the newly formed music school in Kigali Rwanda Rocks! established by OmniPeace (USA).

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