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Richard Crabtree

Professional staff - Viola


Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Faculty of Music
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
SE10 9JF

Tel: +44 (0)20 8305 4444


Area of Work

Strings Department
Richard Crabtree


Richard enjoys a well balanced musical lifestyle which encompasses all the essential elements of a musician and instrumentalist of the 21st century. He studied violin and viola with Nicholas Roth at Trinity College of Music and went on to work with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players and the original London Soloists Ensemble. Later as principal violist and soloist, he performed with the London Soloists Ensemble, Wessex Sinfonia, Clifton Virtuosi, Orchestra of the Swan, the English National Baroque Ensemble and the Emerald Ensemble. Richard is a solo commercially recorded artist and has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, 4, Classic FM and Greek RTA. He has also recorded solo soundtracks for television documentaries with BBC 1 and 2, ITV and Channel 4. His keen interest in promoting contemporary music has taken him throughout the UK, Europe and Asia including a major tour of Turkmenistan. This was organised by the British Council and Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Culture for the Makhtumkuli Festival. His performances were televised throughout the State, and Richard has the distinction of being the first British musician to perform there since glasnost.

Qualifications and Educational Background

  • Trinity College of Music
  • ARCM

Teaching Experience

Richard is a professor of viola and violin at Trinity Laban and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He is also on the teaching faculties at the University of Bristol, the University of Bath and Goldsmiths, University of London.

Skype lessons are a new feature of Richard’s work. Students from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, and major cities throughout the United Kingdom are all benefiting from the flexibility of internet lessons. This often gives students from these countries more confidence to travel to the UK to benefit from the mini-courses with Richard before taking exams.

His younger students gain scholarships to prestigious schools in the UK, have won first prizes at national and international competitions, and gain places with the National Youth Orchestras of England and Wales.

He has coached on courses in Korea, Spain, France, Italy and the UK, and is a member of a team of international teachers and soloists who give recitals, masterclasses, individual coaching and chamber music for the organisation Language and Music for Life.

His most gifted postgraduate students secure positions with major orchestras in London, throughout the UK and abroad. Young professionals return for refresher lessons when preparing for auditions.

Richard has also produced the Crabbers Scale Manual for Violin, Viola and Cello. This unique system uses letters and numbers and is specifically designed to help students who have difficulties with learning scales. The system has received favorable acceptance by his colleagues.

Creative Outputs

CD recording

Sir Arnold Bax, Fantasy Sonata and Legend (Olympia Explorer series)

Solo soundtracks for TV and radio

The Poet Makhtumkuli – Turkmenistan State TV

The Poet Makhtumkuli – Greek RT (composer Gilbert Bibarian)

Soca The Emerald River – for TV (won 25 awards worldwide) 

The Music Machine – Radio 3

Alien in the Abyss – from BBC 1 TV series X Creatures

Hard to Swallow – Cartoon for Radio 4

The Greatest Show on Earth – for TV – David Attenborough (composer Sarah Class)

Sussex Mummer’s Carol – Classic FM (composer John Marsh)

Life of Mary Wollstonecraft – BBC 2 (composer Edward Williams)