Sydney Eisteddfod alumni, cellist Richard Narroway is set to release his debut album, a recording of Bach’s Cello Suites on the Sono Luminus label in September 2017.
After winning the 2008 NSW Drs Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship, then known as the Nelson Meers Foundation Instrumental Scholarship, he soon departed for the United States, where he completed a Bachelor of Music degree at Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree at the prestigious Julliard School in New York. He is now in the final stages of a Doctoral degree at the University of Michigan.
In 2015, Richard toured around Australia performing the complete Bach Cello Suites as well as a selection of contemporary Australian compositions, and at the culmination of this month-long tour completed the soon to released recordings.
"I recorded the complete set (6 suites, 36 movements) over a period of six days - one suite per day - which was an exhausting but nonetheless truly valuable experience. Many would agree that this is some of the purest and most sublime music in existence - the Mount Everest of the cello repertoire - and so I am beyond excited to share my interpretation with the rest of the world" he explained.
A strong ambassador for the benefits and opportunities Sydney Eisteddfod provides, Richard recalls fondly his time on the Sydney Eisteddfod stage.
“I must say that my years competing in the Sydney Eisteddfod were incredibly formative to my musical development. Sydney Eisteddfod not only provided me with invaluable performing experience, but also exposed me to an abundance of talented colleagues, some of whom I am still in contact with today".
"Even more importantly, this organisation offered us aspiring musicians an opportunity to cultivate a sense of purpose and drive, motivating us to work towards goals and to give our fullest, which made it indispensable at these early stages in our musical development. I look back on this time with enormous gratitude for the opportunities that set me off on the right musical path” he said.
When reflecting on what he took away from his Sydney Eisteddfod experience and what he now knows in hindsight, he revealed that the most important thing he learnt was that "results don't matter".
"We should enter competitions with the goal to win, but in the end it isn’t so much about winning or losing. I won some, I lost some, as we all do. If anything, it is the preparation that goes into the competition that matters in the long run, as well as the grace with which we can learn to handle defeat. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to navigate these kinds of experiences early in my life."
Richard has also appeared as a soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony and the HanZhou Philharmonic Orchestra, and in recital on Chicago’s WFMT Dame Myra Hess Series and the Keys to the City Piano Festival at Chicago’s Symphony Center.
In addition to winning the NSW Drs Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship, he also went on to win top prizes at numerous competitions around the globe including the Third Beijing International Cello Competition, the Samuel and Elinor Thaviu Competition in String Performance and the Gold Medal in the 2010 Stulberg International String Competition, where he was also awarded the Bach Award for the best interpretation of a Bach solo work.
Sydney Eisteddfod is overjoyed to hear of everything Richard has achievement and cannot wait to hear his debut album.