Welcome to the website of Toronto-based Canadian composer Mark Richards. Check here regularly for the latest news, upcoming performances, audio samples, and more.


Richards Obtains PhD

On April 13, 2011, Richards successfully defended his PhD thesis in music theory at the University of Toronto. The 75,000-word thesis explores the idea of musical tension in the sonata forms of Beethoven. Richards has several academic papers that relate to these ideas forthcoming in academic journals and will be presenting a paper on musical form in Beethoven at the national Society for Music Theory conference in October.

Commission for New Children’s Opera

After the successes of his Hamlet, Richards continues to be active in the operatic realm, and has been commissioned by Off Centre Music Salon to write a children’s opera on the story of Thumbelina by Hans Christen Andersen. Excerpts will likely be performed in Off Centre's 2011-2012 season with a complete performance to follow soon after.

Audio Samples from New Works

Hear live excerpts from two of Richards’ latest works, The Green Oasis, a song cycle set to poems from a set of the same name by 20th-century Canadian poet Bliss Carman, and Chopin Reflected, a work for piano duet celebrating the birth of Frédéric Chopin in 1810. Both works were premiered in April 2010 in Toronto, the song cycle by baritone Nathaniel Wiseman, cellist Sybil Shanahan, and the composer himself at the piano, and the piano duet by Brett Kingsbury and Erika Crino.

  • Samples to appear here soon!

Richards in The Toronto Star

On Aug. 14, 2008, the The Toronto Star published a story about Richards and his Hamlet opera by classical music critic John Terauds.