Richard Jenkinson is Musical Director of the British Police Symphony Orchestra and has conducted the orchestra in concerts at Symphony Hall Birmingham (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), the Cathedrals of Gloucester (Elgar 2 in 2016), Hereford (2014) and Worcester (2016 & 2017) as well as the BPSO’s regular prom concerts at Beacon Park, Staffordshire which frequently are attended by an audience of over ten thousand people. Since 2011 he has also been Music Director of the Orchestra of St John, Bromsgrove and over the last seven years highlights have included Faure, Mozart and Verdi Requiems, Mahler Symphony no.4 and they are currently completing a cycle of the Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos. In September 2016 he was appointed Music Director of the orchestra and choir of GKT Music Society at King’s College, London and since September 2017 has held the same post with the Worcestershire Youth Orchestra. Future concerts include Beethoven 9th Symphony in Bromsgrove and Worcester Cathedral and performances with the BPSO at Symphony Hall in December 2018 and the Royal Albert Hall in May 2019.
Richard’s musical education began at the age of five when he started to play the ‘cello and was awarded a scholarship by Derbyshire County Council to study with Florence Hooton and William Pleeth. Whilst in the sixth form Richard began his conducting studies with Michael Salter at Repton School. In 1990 he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, studying cello with Raphael Wallfisch and William Pleeth and conducting with Alan Hazeldine. He graduated with Distinction in 1994 and was awarded the Guildhall’s coveted Gold Medal for a performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto in the Barbican. In 1995 he was awarded a top prize at the Vittorio Gui Chamber Music Competition in Italy and was invited to be part of the Countess of Munster recital scheme. This has led to a very productive partnership with the pianist Benjamin Frith including recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre and several recordings. In 1995 Richard became principal ‘cello with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and from 1998-2016 he was principal cello with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
In May 2012 Richard joined the Dante String Quartet and has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and also given several live BBC Radio 3 broadcasts. The quartet’s ‘Beethoven journey’ with the actor David Timson was also featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. As the cellist of the Dante Quartet he has recorded Kodaly’s string quartets for Hyperion, Herbert Howells Quartets for Naxos and recently embarked upon a project to record the eight Stanford’s String Quartets on the Somm label. The quartet has performed several cycles of complete Beethoven Quartets and toured Japan in November of 2016. During 2018 the Dante Quartet will undertake a cycle of Shostakovich Quartets and tours to France and Japan.
Richard has recently completed a PhD on the music of Zoltan Kodaly at the University of Birmingham where he was awarded a Bramall scholarship.