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Richard Brittain was born in Handsworth in 1958 and moved to Southend in 1966, developing a keen interest in music from an early age. In 1972 Richard became a Junior Exhibitioner at the Royal College of Music, and went on to be awarded the Ian Stowsker Violin Prize in 1977 whilst in his final year as a pupil at Westcliff High School for Boys.


In 1977 Richard became a full-time student at the Royal College of Music, studying the violin with Jack Steadman and the piano with John Barstow in parallel with a London B.Mus. (Hons.) degree.  Graduating in 1980, Richard continued studying the violin at the RCM for a further year with John Ludlow. 


After becoming a qualified teacher, Richard taught at a secondary school in the London Borough of Redbridge prior to joining the peripatetic instrumental teaching team for Essex County Council.  Between 1988 and 1998 he worked in a number of different professional and managerial roles with the Essex Music Services.


Following the creation of the Unitary Authorities of Southend and Thurrock, Richard was appointed Head of Music Services for Thurrock Borough Council in May 1998, a position he still holds. In 2008 he took on the role of lead musical director at a 10th anniversary event which was performed at the Royal Festival Hall. 


Richard has previously performed as leader of the Southend Symphony Orchestra between 1982 and 2008 before having to take an extended break from playing the violin.  In addition to playing for many Operatic and Choral society performances, he has in the past undertaken the role of guest leader for the Southend Philharmonic Orchestra, Essex Concert Orchestra, Essex Symphony Orchestra, plus numerous other ensembles. Richard has also directed a number of orchestral performances as guest conductor. More recently, he participated in the ‘Music is Magic’ event at the Royal Albert Hall as leader of the LKSO orchestra.


Several solo performances, both on the violin and piano, have included concertos by Bruch, Bach, Dvorak, Grieg, Gershwin, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns and Schumann, in addition to solo recitals, quartets, trios and other chamber music. 


Richard is a member of the renowned local chamber choir ‘Gaudeamus’ providing also accompaniment and continuo for performances when required.

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