As Professor of Music and University Organist at Cornell University, Annette Richards enjoys an active career as performer, scholar, and teacher. Laureate of international organ competitions at Dublin and Bruges, she gives concerts frequently in North America and Europe. Among her CDs are the Complete Works of Melchior Schildt (on the Loft label) played on the historic organ at Roskilde Cathedral, Denmark; her recording of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s complete organ music, a diverse body of compositions she also edited for the new C. P. E. Bach Complete Works, is forthcoming. Prof. Richards is founding editor of Keyboard Perspectives, a wide-ranging yearbook dedicated to historical performance and keyboard culture, but her scholarly work extends far beyond the organ and its music. Her widely-praised book The Free Fantasia and the Musical Picturesque (Cambridge, 2001) explores the intersections between musical fantasy and the landscape garden in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century music across German-speaking Europe and England. She is also editor of C. P. E Bach Studies (Cambridge, 2006) and rediscovered and reconstructed that composer’s extraordinary collection of musical portraits. Her catalog of these pictures has just been published (Packard Humanities Institute, 2012); soon to appear is the companion volume, A Biographical Dictionary of C. P. E. Bach’s Portraits.
At Cornell Prof. Richards teaches courses on eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century music aesthetics and criticism; intersections between music and visual culture; music and the uncanny; and the organ and its culture, as well as organ performance. She has organized several conferences and concert festivals at the university, including "German Orpheus: C. P. E. Bach and North German Music Culture" (1998); "British Modernism" (2003); "Charles Burney, Musical Travel and the Invention of Music History" (2010); most recently, with the conference "18th-Century Keyboard Culture in Berlin and the German Sense of History", she celebrated the completion of an extraordinary new early 18th-century-style organ at Cornell, the culmination of an ambitious 10-year research and construction project she led in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and in upstate New York.
Prof. Richards was educated at Oxford University, (BA, MA) Stanford University (PhD) and the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam (Performer’s Diploma, Uitvoerend Musicus). She has won numerous honors, including fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Getty Center in Santa Monica and at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell. She has held a prestigious New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation and a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin. Since 2009 she has been the Executive Director of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies, and recently won a major three-year grant from the Mellon Foundation to establish the Westfield Center at Cornell.