Hailed by The New York Times as an “especially impressive fine pianist,” RICHARD DOWLING appears regularly across the United States and throughout the world in orchestral performances, solo recitals and chamber music collaborations. He has been acclaimed by audiences for his elegant and charismatic style of pianism which earns him frequent return engagements. He has received reviews that praise him as a “master of creating beautiful sounds with impeccable control of colors and textures,” as “a musician with something to say, the skill to say it and the magnetic power to make you want to listen” and for giving “a superb recital that left the audience craving for more at the end.” Works of Chopin, Gershwin, American ragtime and French Impressionism figure prominently in his repertoire.
On April 1, 2017, the exact centennial date of Scott Joplin’s death in New York City, Richard Dowling became the first pianist in history to perform publicly the complete cycle of the composer’s piano works (in a pair of sold-out recitals in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall). He continues to be presented in classical, all-Joplin and classical/ragtime programs throughout the United States.
In the United States, Richard Dowling has received nationwide attention for recitals seen on the PBS program Debut and has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, while in New York City, he has performed with orchestra at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Alice Tully Hall and Damrosch Park, at Merkin Concert Hall, and in Central Park and presented recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, 92nd Street YM-YWHA, Steinway Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Union Club of the City of New York, Dahesh Museum, Kosciuszko Foundation, Liederkranz Foundation, Tenri Cultural Institute, Museum of the City of New York, Christie’s, 54 Below, St. Bartholomew’s Church, Trinity Church, Metropolitan Club, Brooklyn Conservatory, Concordia College and The Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center.
Richard Dowling has established himself internationally with performances in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Ecuador, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and South Africa. In the Far East, he has performed critically acclaimed recitals at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Singapore’s Victoria Concert Hall and the Istana Auditorium in Kuala Lumpur. He has also conducted guest master classes at the LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts and Young Musicians’ Society in Singapore and Hong Kong’s Academy for the Performing Arts, as well as at the Shanghai Conservatory.
Richard Dowling enjoys a special affinity for France and its music, art and culture. He studied at the Conservatoire de Musique in Nice with the renowned French pianist Jeanne-Marie Darré, participated as a guest artist in the La Gesse Summer Festival, and received the Grand Prix from the French Piano Institute in Paris. He made his formal Paris recital debut at the Salle Cortot, and was subsequently invited to perform at the French Embassy in Washington, DC. Maurice Ravel and his music were the subjects of Mr. Dowling’s doctoral dissertation. His repertoire includes the complete solo and chamber piano music of Ravel and many works by Debussy, Fauré and Saint-Saëns. In recognition of his dedication to French musical art, Mr. Dowling was officially inducted as a Chevalier of the renowned Company of Musketeers of Armagnac, a honor society originally founded in the 17th century by D’Artagnan in southwest France.
A competition veteran and frequent prizewinner, Richard Dowling has been awarded first place in, among others, the San Antonio International Keyboard Competition, New Orleans International Piano Competition, Music Teachers’ National Association (MTNA) Collegiate Artist Piano Competition, Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition (OK), Oklahoma Symphony Concerto Competition, Shreveport Symphony/Wideman Concerto Competition, Midland/Odessa National Young Artist Audition and the Brazos Valley (TX) Symphony Young Artists Competition. Mr. Dowling was the recipient of a special award from the National Federation of Music Clubs, recognizing his outstanding performances of American music.
Richard Dowling celebrated the 1998 centennial of the birth of George Gershwin by performing his complete solo and orchestral works for piano. In 2001, he released Sweet and Low-Down, a Klavier Records CD containing virtually all of the solo piano works by Gershwin. He has also recorded two albums of popular piano works by Chopin for Piano Productions Recordings and, with his duo-partner, cellist Evan Drachman, three CDs of cello and piano works: A Frog He Went a-Courting, Pairs of Pieces; Infinity; Romance and Revelation. In 2004, Klavier Records released World’s Greatest Rags, followed, in 2007, by Rhapsody in Ragtime, two discs of Mr. Dowling’s favorite American ragtime, novelty, stride and jazz piano solos. In 2010, Museum Music issued Music of Old New York - Ragtime Music & Songs from Turn-of-the-Century New York. His most recent recordings on the Rivermont label are Cocktails for Two, a collection of piano duets of the art deco era, and Gershwin for Two Pianos, featuring Rhapsody in Blue and other beloved Gershwin works, both with fellow pianist Frederick Hodges.
In commemoration of the centennial of the death of Scott Joplin, Rivermont Records issued a three-CD set of the complete solo piano works of the legendary American ragtime composer; the Grammy-nominated set comprises 54 rags, waltzes and marches.
Richard Dowling has produced his own critical performing editions of Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit, Miroirs, Sonatine, Jeaux d’eau, Pavane pour une infante défunte and his Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, based on the composer’s original manuscripts, as well as critical editions of Debussy, Fauré, Gershwin, Hummel and Mendelssohn. In January, 2013 Alfred Music Publishing issued Zez Confrey at the Piano, Mr. Dowling’s new edition of 27 solo piano works by the 1920's American jazz master, including works that have been long out-of-print, as well as transcriptions of Confrey’s disc and player piano rolls.
While studying at Yale University, Richard Dowling was honored with the Lockwood Award for performing the best recital and the Bruce Simonds Award for outstanding solo and ensemble playing; subsequently, he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from The University of Texas. His principal teacher was Abbey Simon.
In addition to his regular concert performances, Richard Dowling is frequently heard as a member of the artist roster of The Piatigorsky Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing live classical music to audiences across America. Since 1994, he has performed well over 1000 recitals under its auspices.