Treasured Tunes featuring Mark Richardson

Q&A with Mark Richardson

Dr. Mark Richardson teaches music theory and composition classes in the School of Music at East Carolina University. Richardson has been at ECU for 10 years. Richardson has conducted research on Stravinsky’s music, including the organization of pitch and use of Renaissance dance rhythms in ballets. He received his PhD in music theory and his M.M. in composition, both from Florida State University. He earned his B.M. in music theory and composition from the University of Kansas.

What musicians inspire you?

I’m inspired by a number of musicians, not just classical musicians, but jazz musicians, as well. I had some training in jazz, so I was interested in improvisation. That feeds into composition quite a bit. I am interested in a variety of music. I do listen to quite a bit of classical music—string ensembles and orchestras. I am active in going to concerts at ECU, and I am very appreciative of the outstanding performers here.

How did you become passionate about music?

I was interested in music from an early age. I took piano lessons when I was six or seven years old. I loved to play music; I wanted to be a performer. I listened to a lot of music. I can remember asking my parents for classical musical records when I was young. I gained my own library and listened to the classics. I went to concerts. Music seemed to be what I gravitated towards. And I was the only one in my family who went into music as a profession.

If we were to look at your iPod or ride with you in your car, what music would we hear?

I am listening to the music we are studying in class. I enjoy Brahms and Beethoven. There is a good variety. I do turn on the radio in the car, so I am aware of pop and country music, and even a little rap. I try to keep up, but I am not so good at keeping up with the current trends.

This has been a production of East Carolina University. To hear more, please visit the Treasured Tunes index.