Richard Pantcheff is internationally renowned as a composer in many genres, and has established a prominent reputation as a composer of choral, organ, and other instrumental music. His musical career began as head chorister at Ripon Cathedral in England. During his five years as a Music Scholar at senior school, he corresponded regularly with Benjamin Britten, who acted as occasional mentor to him in composition. Thereafter, he graduated with Honours in Music at Christ Church, Oxford University, under Simon Preston and Francis Grier.
His choral music has been performed widely by chapel choirs in Oxford and Cambridge, including Magdalen College, Oxford, Trinity College, Cambridge, and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. His work has also been commissioned and performed in numerous cathedrals and churches in the United Kingdom, including St Paul’s Cathedral and at Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals, as well as Germany and the United States. His work has appeared at many international music festivals, including the National Arts Festival Grahamstown, the Cape Festival of Voices (South Africa), and the Southern Cathedrals Festival in the United Kingdom.
His festival anthem King Henry VIII’s Apologia was specially commissioned in 1996 by the Choir of Christ Church, Oxford, in celebration of the 450th Anniversary of the foundation of the college. His anthem Spirit of Mercy was performed at the official inauguration of the President of South Africa in 2009. He has just completed a setting of the Jubilate Deo in the Zulu language (Ihubo Ikhulu), for the 750th anniversary celebrations of the foundation of Merton College, Oxford.
His instrumental and chamber music has been performed all over the world, including major works in the USA, the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, and, lately, South Africa. His most recent work for organ, Passacaglia on a Theme of Benjamin Britten, was premiered by Jane Parker-Smith in Essen Cathedral in 2013 as part of the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten.
Pantcheff’s work is broadcast frequently on radio and TV, notably in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the Caribbean, Norway, and Canada. A large proportion of his work is published, distributed, and performed around the world, and much of it has been released on CD. His most recent work is the Twelve Anglo Saxon Sentences for solo voices and organ, written for the inaugural concert of the St George’s Chamber Choir, at the Anglican Church of St George, Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was appointed Director of Music and Composer in Residence in 2013, and where a new two-manual Rieger organ was installed in 2012.