Biography

Richard Tanner is an organist and choral director who has specialised in the training of boy and girl chorister voices for over thirty years. 

He is currently Director of Music at Rugby School, one of the UK's most prestigious and historic independent schools, where he leads a large team of professional musicians and students with broad specialisms.

He is also Founder Director of the Rugby Choristers at Bilton Grange, the UK's newest choral foundation in the Anglican tradition. The Rugby Choristers sing six Choral Evensongs each week during term time, alongside professional lay clerks and choral scholars from Rugby School.

There has been an annual broadcast of Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3 from Rugby School Chapel under Richard's direction since 2018, most recently in September 2023 with music by Tippett and Britten. Choristers from Rugby School have won the BBC Young Chorister of the Year competition in 2017 and 2022.

Richard has extensive experience working with professional and amateur musicians as well as in the recording industry, as artistic director of a concert series and in the fields of education and outreach. He is a Festival Director of Festival on The Close.

He frequently plays the organ for services, concerts and broadcasts at London's St Martin-in-the-Fields and his organ recordings are available on Spotify, including Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur played on the organ of Blackburn Cathedral.

Since 2000 he has been a musical director and organist for BBC Radio 4's Daily Service, working regularly with the professional BBC Daily Service Singers. He has also worked as music advisor, musical director and accompanist on arange of BBC radio and television programmes.

In addition, Richard has a busy schedule, both in the UK and further afield, conducting choirs and orchestras, leading choral workshops and giving organ recitals. He has conducted the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2022 he made his debut conducting the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. In April 2025 he will make his debut in Carnegie Hall conducting the New England Symphonic Ensemble in a performance of John Rutter's Requiem.

A former chorister of St Paul's Cathedral, he was Organist and Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral between 1998 and 2011. He then spent eighteen months as Director of Chapel Music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, having responsibility for the music in the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich. He has also held posts at Exeter College Oxford, St Albans Cathedral and All Saints' Northampton.