Richard Birchall


No. 3 Cello

Richard Birchall read Music at Cambridge University and studied as a postgraduate cellist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London under Louise Hopkins. He later completed studies in Film Music composition at Goldsmiths College.

Portrait of Richard Birchall

Richard pursues a varied and colourful career as cellist, composer, arranger and orchestrator. As a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra he performs regularly in the great concert halls of the world; he has appeared as Guest Principal cello with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and Irish Chamber Orchestra, and as concertmaster of the London Cello Orchestra. Richard’s solo and chamber work has ranged from Wigmore Hall to the catwalk at London Fashion Week. He is a founder member of cello octet Cellophony – now firmly established as the UK’s leading cello ensemble – and cellist of the Minerva Piano Trio.

Richard’s arrangements and compositions have been performed at the BBC Proms, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, The Purcell Room, The Sage Gateshead and throughout the UK, and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and French and German national radio. Richard has completed numerous transcriptions for Cellophony’s core repertoire, and also produced commissioned arrangements for the Doric, Barbirolli, and Tippett quartets (including Psycho Suite, subsequently released on the Signum label), the London Cello Orchestra and the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra. In recent years Richard has turned increasingly to original composition; recent works include Labyrinth for cello and chamber orchestra; The Wind in the Willows for eight cellos and narrator (premiered in London with actor Simon Callow); Delirium for two violins; a second string quartet, Hands; and a set of cadenzas for Mozart’s Flute & Harp Concerto, premiered by Samuel Coles and Catrin Finch with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Michael Collins.

Richard has served as Deputy Chairman of the Philharmonia, and currently sits on the Artistic Committee of the Park Lane Group and the Advisory Board of MusicArt London.

The No. 3 Cello Chair is currently available for endowment. Endowment opportunities at the Philharmonia offer supporters unique access and insights to our players. Find out more here.