Richard Collins is now an award-winning composer writing bespoke music for film, TV and games, with his first musical release and collaboration with Universal’s Aurora Production Music label just out.
Yet, if it had not been for the sage advice he was offered by a teacher when in the Sixth Form, it could all have been very different.
Richard (OE 2005–2012) originally planned to study Law at university. “Although I really struggled to write my personal statement, I managed to get something together and got ready to send off my applications.
“It was only when I gave my personal statement to Mr Hargadon [Liam Hargadon, currently Head of Politics] that he made me realise I was heading in completely the wrong direction.
“Writing my personal statement to study Music was one of the easiest 500 words I’ve ever written.
“Also, there is no doubt my musical experiences at QE were instrumental in laying the foundation for my career.”
After achieving straight As at QE – where he had been a Music Scholar – Richard went on to read Music at Durham, where he first acquired a love for composition. He went on to take a first-class Master’s degree in Composition for Film and Television at Bristol University.
In 2016, his music featured in a Student BAFTA-nominated documentary film, A Lion’s Tale. The following year, he was nominated for the Monkey Bread Tree Award for best original score for the film Rambling On. And then, also in 2017, he won second prize at the annual film-scoring competition for the California Independent Film Festival (CAIFF).
A pianist and clarinettist, Richard has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Croydon’s Fairfield Halls and at one of the Queen’s garden parties. He gives private piano or music production tuition to students. In September, he will be joining QE as a peripatetic Music teacher (piano and composition).
He is the co-founder and director of White Square Films, a production company covering all types of video and media production. He has also worked as an assistant to leading composers Martin Phipps and Samuel Sim on productions including Season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown and the BBC’s Black Earth Rising (Phipps) and The Spanish Princess and The Bay (Sim).
In April 2019, Richard’s work appeared on Aurora Production Music’s latest album, Nature’s Way.
- Richard’s music can be heard on his website.