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Paul Rickard-Ford

Paul Rickard-Ford

| Australia

After finishing his music bachelor studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium, Paul Rickard-Ford was awarded with the Clarke Scholarship to undertake postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London, where he gained the Associate of the Royal College of Music (ARCM) qualification and the Dann Reuther Prize for the most outstanding concerto performance.

He has won many major competitions and awards in Australia, including the fact that he became Commonwealth winner of the 1983 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Instrumental & Vocal Competition, and in 1984 was invited to perform before Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent in a recital at the residence of the American ambassador in London. He returned to Australia in 1985 to undertake performing engagements with the ABC and got back to the United Kingdom for further studies in 1986 as the inaugural David Paul Landa Memorial Scholar. In 1988 he received the Australia Achiever award for his achievements in music and was presented with the award by the prime minister at a special reception in Sydney during the Bicentennial celebrations.

At the end of 1988, Paul returned to the UK where he gave recitals in London at St. James’s, Piccadilly, Leighton House, and a series of recitals at Colnaghi Galleries, as well performing at various festivals throughout England. He remained in London until 1994 when he was appointed as a lecturer in piano at the Sydney Conservatorium. He is in demand as a recording artist, recitalist, examiner, adjudicator and master teacher throughout Australia. In 2000, he was invited to give masterclasses at the Beijing Central Conservatory and the Shanghai Conservatory, and also gave recitals at the Australian Embassy in Beijing and at the Shanghai Concert Hall.

In recent years he has been a frequent performer on ABC Classic FM, and has recorded complete Liszt’s Annees de Pelerinage, 2 all-Schumann recitals, an all-Chopin recital and several Sunday Live programs, all of which were broadcasted nationally. He was a featured performer in the popular Keyboard Preludes program on Classic FM in 2007, where he performed and discussed preludes by Scriabin and Rachmaninoff. Together with his piano duo partner, Natalia Sheludiakova, he has given many Australian and world premieres, most notable of which - Piano Sonata for Piano Four Hands by Carl Vine, a special commission for the SCM’s 101 Compositions project.

In 2008, he was appointed as a federal examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB). He tours Asia annually and regularly visits Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong giving masterclasses for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Paul Rickard-Ford presently serves as senior lecturer and was chair of the Piano Unit from 2006 to 2016. He completed his doctoral work on the late piano works of Schumann in 2010 and was shortlisted by the University of Adelaide for the University Medal.

His current and former students have achieved outstanding success in local, national and international competitions, and have been major prizewinners at important competitions in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, USA, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Croatia, Denmark and UK. At both the 2012 and 2016 Sydney International Piano Competitions his students were awarded with the Best Australian Pianist title. He is a pioneer in the field of professional development for piano teachers and is in demand as a guest lecturer at pedagogy conferences throughout Australia. In 2023, he was invited to become a visiting professor at Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China.

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