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Ford is a storyteller — even his instrumental works are theatrical. Writing in a deliberately accessible style full of a sense of forward motion and story, rhythm and vitality are fundamental to his works. Unafraid of a melody people can whistle, Ford’s songfulness combines a relentless faith in possibility with courage and a love of large canvases. His wide-ranging musical interests and artistic leadership continue to impact his many communities, collaborators and peers.

A champion of new plays and musicals including stints as the Artistic Director of the Bloomington Playwrights Project and as a theatre director in New York and LA, he collaborates with some of the most talented emerging playwrights, musicians and artists in the country. Lately, he started an orchestra from scratch in Houston, produced and scored a feature film, and is at work on commissions ranging from a horn trio to an opera to a Mariachi oratorio.

Born in DC and raised in Oklahoma, Richard began composing music pounding on a generous neighbor’s piano. Soon he found his way to a unique silver “Radio Improved” Selmer tenor saxophone and the music of Bernstein, Sondheim, and Stravinsky. Since moving to New York City at 21 with a room at the Y and a stack of scores, his music is reliable for vigor, drama, audacity, surprising tonality and touching melodies and has been in demand with theatre and classical performers alike.


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