Praised for his “clear, expressive playing,” “mature display of pyrotechnics,” “seasoned artistry,” and “sensitivity to harmonic and formal considerations,” pianist Richard Fountain has steadily garnered praise for his versatile work. While entrancing audiences with “runs … at times light as a feather, other times strong as iron,” he is an accomplished teacher and adjudicator and a coveted collaborator, having worked with a diverse array of artists including the rock band Kansas, opera superstar Renee Fleming, and clarinetist Mark Nuccio, and Broadway composer/lyricist team Scott Murphy and Nathan Christensen in the premiere of their musical “Broadcast.”
Fountain received the prestigious Early Achiever Award from the Nebraska Alumni Association in 2017, was a semi-finalist in the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition in 2017, and was named the 2015 “Teacher of the Year” by the Lubbock Music Teachers Association. His debut CD, “American Ivory,” featuring solo piano works of MacDowell, Barber, Copland, and Gary D. Belshaw, was awarded joint Third Prize in The American Prize for solo piano in 2013.
Highlights from the 2017-2018 season include appearing as soloist in Leonard Bernstein's "The Age of Anxiety" (Symphony No. 2) with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, a Kansas City Royals-themed recital in Overland Park, KS, celebrating Opening Day 2018. Fountain is particularly excited to begin a cycle of the Liszt transcriptions of all nine Beethoven symphonies, a three-year project commemorating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth in 2020. This season Fountain will focus on the First, Third, and Sixth symphonies. In addition to giving solo recitals pairing the symphonies with various Beethoven piano sonatas, Fountain will be offering lecture-recitals and outreach performances centered on the Beethoven symphonies around the country, including a week-long residency sponsored by Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra in the spring of 2018.
A proud native of Springfield, Nebraska, Fountain began piano studies with his mother Judy and continued with David Gerard in Omaha. He then studied with Leon Harshenin at Taylor University and with Paul Barnes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He holds the positions of Principal Keyboard with both Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. Fountain has appeared as concerto soloist with the UNL Symphony Orchestra, the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, and the Plainview Symphony Orchestra. He has also been invited to perform and present at the American Liszt Festival, the International Double Reed Society, the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest, and the Texas Music Teachers Association Convention.
Fountain is Associate Professor of Piano at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, TX, where he and his wife Sarah live with their three children. Fountain is an active member of the American Liszt Society, is on the Board of Directors of the Texas Music Teachers Association, and recently served as President of the Lubbock Music Teachers Association. He also serves as a chanter at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in Lubbock, Texas. You can follow him on Twitter @huskermaestro, or at his website, .