Composer and saxophonist Richard Power’s musical interests include exploring the dialogue between tradition and innovation, the continuum between composition and improvisation, and new types of formal and temporal expression through sound.  He writes for both acoustic instruments and electronically generated sounds, and while much of his music is precisely notated, other scores encourage interactive collaboration through structured improvisations.

He received a Bachelor’s degree in composition and performance from Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas), and Master’s and D.M.A. degrees in composition and theory from the University of Illinois, Urbana.  His principle composition teachers have been William Brooks, Thomas Fredrickson, Erik Lund, William Thornton, Frank Ticheli, Scott Wyatt, and Paul Martin Zonn. His research on sound in film has been published in the anthology Poetic Visions of America: The Cinema of Terence Malick (Wallflower Press, ed. Hannah Patterson).  Other research interests include the music of Elliott Carter, Gérard Grisey, and György Ligeti, musical applications of semiotics, and the writings of Carl Jung.

As a performer Dr. Power enjoys placing the baritone saxophone within contexts where it is not normally found.  For several years he was a member of the Austin-based Cornell Hurd Band, performing for dance and music lovers across Texas.  Other groups he has been a part of are the Walter Thompson Orchestra, Third Coast Noise, Coherent, Blue Noise Saxophone Quartet and the Mad Dingo Trio.  He has been a promoter of new music by fellow composers as both a performer and concert organizer.

Dr. Power has been the recipient of awards from the American Music Center, ASCAP, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Austin Peay State University.  His scores are published by Richard Power Music, Media Press, and HoneyRock Publications.  Born in Austin, Texas, he currently lives in Danville, Kentucky with his wife, author and professor Stacey Peebles.


photo by Joseph Rey Au