RICHARD HOWARD: PRAIRIE VISIONSA Suite for Piano
RICHARD HOWARD, piano
"As a player Howard captures the grand sweep of his writing with ease."
MusicWeb International - May 2007
"A seven-movement suite of unashamedly programmatic content and full-blooded Romanticism, this is a very personal statement by a composer-pianist obviously well versed in the traditions of grand pianism. Emotionally charged and full of bravura pianism, stopping just short of sentimentality (most of the time, à la Percy Grainger), the most obvious inspiration and comparison for Howard’s style is Rachmaninov...the piece has an innocent and heartfelt quality which, along with the excitement generated by its thunderous virtuosic passages, render it entirely convincing on its own terms."
Records International, February 2007
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Richard E. Howard has an interesting musical background. At the age of six, due to the influence of his maternal grandfather, he developed a love for the piano and Romantic and Impressionist music. His early formal training in piano came from a young performing virtuoso with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra. Following his piano study, Mr. Howard turned to composition. His first efforts were taken by a mentor to the Director of the symphony orchestra at the time. To Howard's surprise, he was declared to be a prodigy. While attending high school and the first years of college, he furthered his piano studies with Dr. Robert Hoffman, the principle pianist of the region, whose kindness and
encouragement kept the fires of music burning. Said Dr. Hoffman of Howard's music: "He is an original much like Percy Grainger, with lyric melody ideas and fiery technique. Always convincing, haunting, impassioned, he weaves a spell at the keyboard." Mr. Howard's piano performances and music have been well-received over the years in recitals around the country.
Richard Howard was born in Amarillo, Texas on September 26, 1946, and was educated at Amarillo College, West Texas State University, and the University of Arkansas. He is a member of the biology teaching faculty of Amarillo College, a position that he has held for the last 30 years. In addition, he is the Director and Senior Curator of the Amarillo College Natural History Museum and Head Fencing Coach for the Amarillo College fencing program with numerous Junior Olympians to his credit.
This position and personal interests have led to numerous collecting expeditions and tournament travels throughout Central and South America, Southeast Asia, as well as more comfortable rambles throughout the United States from coast to coast.
Galaxies of the Night
Love Song of the Western Wind
Dance of Fate
Sunset Refrain & Reverie