Annette Richards divides her time between musical scholarship and performance. Born in London, Ms. Richards holds a bachelors degree in English from Corpus Christi College, Oxford where she served as organ scholar. In 1991 she received the prestigious Performer's Degree in Organ from the Sweelinck Conservatorium, Amsterdam and four years later the Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University (California).
A specialist in music of the Italian and North German Baroque, Ms. Richards has concertized on numerous historic and modern instruments in the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Spain, Germany and the United States. She also regularly performs music from the virtuosic 19th- and 20th-century repertories; prizes she has won at international festivals and competitions include third prize at the 1992 Dublin International Organ Competition and, in 1994 first prize with David Yearsley at the famous Bruges Early Music Festival in the competition for organ duo. Her CD recording “Melchior Schildt and the North German Organ Art”, recorded on the historic organ at Roskilde Cathderal, Denmark, is forthcoming from Loft Records (Seattle).
Ms. Richards is equally active as a scholar. She was a Fellow at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in Santa Monica, California in 1994-95, and at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell in 1998-99. In 2003-05 she spent two years in Berlin, supported by a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. Her scholarly work is marked by its interdisciplinarity, and has focused on late-eighteenth-century music and its relationship with the visual and literary arts. Along with dance historian Mark Franco she edited a volume of essays entitled Acting on the Past: Historical Performance Across the Disciplines (which appeared from Wesleyan University Press in 2000); her book, The Free Fantasia and the Musical Picturesque, which explores the intersections between musical fantasy and the landscape garden in late 18th-century German music culture, came out in 2001 from Cambridge University Press. Ms. Richards is the editor of C. P. E. Bach Studies (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and, with David Yearsley the complete organ music of C. P. E. Bach for the new C. P. E. Bach: Complete Works (Packard Humanities Institute, 2008).
Her current projects include a recording of the complete organ music of C. P. E. Bach, including the little-known fugues, and chorale settings, as well as a book on the musical Gothic, tentatively titled ‘Music on the Dark Side of 1800.’ Annette Richards is Professor of Music, and University Organist at Cornell University.