Pianist, Composer, Dance Accompanist

RICHARD MANSFIELD has over twenty-five years of experience as a professional musician. He has concentrated on the art of piano accompaniment, specializing in working with dancers. He has also worked as a rehearsal pianist for musical comedy and light opera companies and has been a staff accompanist at the college and university level, performing with soloists, choirs, and opera workshops. He has recently been able to return to his longtime passion for composing, and has just released his fourth CD.

Richard began playing piano at a very early age, and cannot remember when he actually learned to read music. His formal training did not begin until age thirteen when he became the youngest student to ever be accepted by master teacher Dr. Nino Albanese. Richard learned quickly, and he was soon winning competitions and playing on honors recitals. After the death of Dr. Albanese in 1975 Richard put aside his piano studies and concentrated on the trumpet, studying with Joseph Valenti. He attended El Camino College where he became interested in music theory and composition under the tutelage of Wally Bower.

When he transferred to San Diego State University in 1977 to study music education, Richard was accepted into the senior level theory and composition class and his final project, an orchestration of "Organ Sonata No. 2" by Paul Hindemith, was selected to be performed by the San Diego State Wind Ensemble under his baton. He resumed his piano studies, studying with Dr. Conrad Bruderer before transferring to California State University, Fullerton where he studied piano accompaniment with Dr. Mary Mark Zeyen and received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1982.

From 1982 through 1990, Richard was a staff accompanist for the dance department at the University of California, Irvine where he played for ballet, modern, and baroque dance classes as well as for special workshops and student performances. During that time he also played for private dance studios, Cecchetti and other dance workshops, and was a staff accompanist for the music department at El Camino College. He maintained a private piano studio and eventually had 40 students. He played company classes for the Joffrey Ballet whenever they were on tour in the Los Angeles area and he also played classes for many visiting artists, including Edward Villela and Violette Verde.

In 1990 Richard moved to Hohenfels, Germany with his wife. He joined a German Brass Band in the small town they lived in, and composed two pieces for the group. In 1992 he and his wife moved to Heidelberg where Richard, under contract with the U.S. Army, developed a School of the Arts program for military families in the area. It has since become an official program offered to all military families overseas.

Returning to California at the end of 1993, Richard joined a big band as a singer and trumpet player. He also joined the local community band and wrote a composition for them.

Moving to Tucson in 1996, Richard eventually became a staff pianist for Ballet Arizona and the Arizona Ballet School in Phoenix, working there for two years. He resigned in 1999 to spend more time composing. Currently, he is the staff pianist for the France Academy of Dance. He spends his summers playing for classes at The Jillana School in Taos Ski Valley, N.M. He teaches when he can. He released three CDs in1999, and has just finished his newest project, a CD of music for ballet class.