The official website of educator Jack C Richards

Support for Cultural Activities

Jack Richards is an active supporter of musical and cultural initiatives and activities in New Zealand. In 2014 he received the prestigious Award for Patronage 2014, by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, acknowledging his support for music and the arts.

Past and current support includes;

  • Benefactor of the National Music Centre, to be built in Wellington
  • Patron and sponsor of the New Zealand National Guitar Competition
  • Grants to the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation to support young New Zealand opera singers
  • Co-sponsor of the Composer in Residence Program at the New Zealand School of Music
  • Provision of travel scholarships for semi-finalists in the Chamber Music New Zealand School Chamber Music Competition
  • Sponsor of three CDs by New Zealand musicians – Tony Chen Lin, Lixin Zhang and Tony Yan Tong Chen
  • Sponsored book on the life of composer Jack Body
  • Numerous commissions for New Zealand composers, including Jack Body, Jenny McLeod, John Psathas
  • Commissioning of piano concertos by Gareth Farr, Lyell Cresswell, and Gao Ping which were performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
  • Scholarships and financial support for students in the New Zealand School of Music and in the School of Applied Language Studies, Victoria University
  • Financing for the production of a video of Jenny Macleod’s opera “Hohepa”
  • Sponsorship of participation by young New Zealand musicians in the Edith Fischer Academy, Blonay Switzerland
  • Provision of scholarships for students enrolled in the Toihokura program in contemporary Maori Art, Gisborne
  • Initiation of the Ruanuku Award for excellent in contemporary Maori Art, enabling the Tairāwhiti Museum to acquire a major collection of art by local artists
  • Support for the Tairāwhiti Arts Festival, Gisborne
  • Purchase of works by local and national artists for the collection of Tairāwhiti Museum
  • Funding of an award in the Te Ha Art Awards competition at Tairāwhiti museum
  • Funding of improvements to the Tairāwhiti Museum
  • Funding of a new gallery at the Tairāwhiti Museum – the Jack C Richards Decorative Arts Gallery – the only gallery of its kind in any New Zealand Museum
  • Grant to support upgrades at Whangara Marae
  • The major private sponsor for renovations of the Toko Toru Tapu Church at Manutuke – one of the most important buildings of its kind in New Zealand due to the significance of its carved panels
  • One of the major private sponsors of renovations to the Gisborne War Memorial Theater
  • Grants to support the local chapter of Chamber Music New Zealand
  • Commissioning of art pieces by Gisborne artists for installation in the Gisborne War Memorial Theater
  • Significant contributor to renovations to the Dawson Field Theater, Gisborne
  • Patron and major sponsor of the Gisborne International Music Competition
  • Sponsor of a series of annual summer concerts in support of the Gisborne International Music Competition
  • Sponsor a series of winter concerts in the Tairāwhiti Museum, Gisborne, featuring student musicians from the New Zealand School of Music.
  • Commissioning of sculptures for public spaces in Gisborne

Closing the Jack C Richards Decorative Arts Gallery

The reasoning behind my decision to close down the Jack C Richards Decorative Arts Gallery at The Tairāwhiti Museum, Gisborne

 On 23 December 2011 the Museum and I signed an agreement that the museum trust would build an extension, to be known as ‘the Richards Gallery’ to be funded by Jack Richards at a cost of some $350,000.

The agreement stated that the gallery would primarily be used for the purpose of housing and displaying objects on loan from Jack Richards’ collection, but also items from the Museum’s own collection and touring exhibitions. The agreement also specified that items from the Richards collection would be displayed in a different section of the gallery from items from the museum collection. The MOU states:

“The museum may exhibit items other than Jack Richards collection for up to four months each year in the general exhibition component of the gallery”.

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Sponsored Activities in Support of Music and the Arts 2021

  • January: Recitals by Samuel Woosol Jeon – 17 yrs old (piano) & Christine Yesol Jeon – 13 yrs old (cello) at Tiromoana.
  • March: Piano recital by Lixin Zhang, at Waikato University, Hamilton.
  • April: Piano recital by Tony Yan Tong Chen at Tiromoana.
  • April: Piano recital by Jian Liu at Tiromoana.
  • July: Vocal recital by William King (baritone) at Tiromoana.
  • July: Concert by students from the Waikato University School of Music – at Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne
  • Further events to be confirmed

Other activities:

  • Scholarships for students in the Toihokura Program in Contemporary Maori Arts
  • Patron of the Gisborne International Music Competition                                  
  • Support for the Tairawhiti Arts Festival 2021
  • Grant to the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation to support New Zealand musicians
  • Sponsorship of a CD to be recorded by pianist Tony Yan Tong Chen for Rattle Records
  • Jack C Richards Travel Scholarship, provided to all finalists in the Chamber Music New Zealand School Chamber Music Competition

Activities in Support of Musicians

Dr. Richards was active in support of musicians and cultural activities in 2020. Primary among these activities were:

  • Sponsorship of piano recitals by two New Zealand musicians whose studies overseas were disrupted due to the Corona Virus
  • September 6th, Piano recital by Tony Chen at St Andrew’s Church, Wellington
  • October 20th, all Chopin recital by Lixin Zhang at St Andrews Church, Wellington.

A series of house concerts were also organized at Tiromoana in Gisborne:

  • August 30th: Piano recital by Nicholas Kovacev.
  • September 6th: Recital by Will King (baritone) and Nicholas Kovacev at Tiromoana
  • October 20th: Piano recital by Liam Furey
  • November 22nd: Pianist Ya-Ting Liou performed Beethoven’s Diabelli Variatios

Support for other cultural activities included:

  • Support for the Tairawhiti Arts Fair, Gisborne (October)
  • Support for renovations of the kitchen at Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne
  • Support for the Gisborne International Music Competition (November)
  • Grant to the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation to support New Zealand musicians in the UK
  • Sponsorship of a concert to honour New Zealand composer John Psathias (December)
  • Sponsorship of the New Zealand Classical Guitar Competition (December)
  • Sponsorship of a CD to be recorded by Tony Chen for Rattle Records (December)

Concerts in support of the Gisborne International Music Competition 2019/2020

Dr. Richards sponsored a number of fundraising concerts over the New Zealand summer.

On December 15th 2019 at the Lawson Field Theater in Gisborne three outstanding  New Zealand pianists Maria Mo, Lixin Zhang and Tony Tay Tong Chen performed at three concerts:

  • Concert 1:  With music by Ravel, Albeniz, Manuel de Falla, Granados, Marquez
  • Concert 2: With music by Brahms (the complete waltzes), Beethoven, Schubert, and Chopin
  • Concert 3: With music by Berg, Scriabin, Janacek Prokofiev, and Psathas

 On Sunday January 26th 2020 Baritone William King with associate artist Bruce Greenfield (piano) presented the following programme at Tiromoana:

  • Kaddisch — Ravel
  • Dichterliebe — Schumann
  • Silent Noon — Vaughan Williams
  • King David — Howells
  • Rivolgete a lui lo sguardo — Mozart, Cosi Fan tutte

On Sunday February 9th  2020 Sydney pianist Paul Cheung played at Tiromoana. His programme was:

  • F. Chopin The complete Preludes Op. 28
  • F. Kreisler (arr. S. Rachmaninoff) Liebesleid
  • S. Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 2 in Bb minor, Op. 36

Celebrations at City University in Hong Kong

Professor Richards was the guest of honor at celebrations in October 2019 at City University in Hong Kong to mark the 30th anniversary of the Department of English. Professor Richards was the first head of the department.

During his visit Professor Richards gave a public lecture and also sponsored a piano recital by Australian pianist Tony Lee and New Zealand pianist Lixin Zhang.

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Sponsorship for young New Zealand pianists

Dr, Richards provides support for young New Zealand pianists to study at musical academies in Spain and Switzerland:

Valencia, Spain: July 2019 – Lixin Zhang & Tony Yan Tong Chen

Blonay, Switzerland: August 2019 – Lixin Zhang, Delvan Lin, Tony Yan Tong Chen, Lorelle McNaughton and Ashani Waidyatillake

Professor at the top of his game

Gisborne’s Professor Jack Richards has been named one of the 50 most influential language teaching specialists in the world — and the only Kiwi. Reporter Kim Parkinson meets the man known for his generosity in supporting the arts, at his summer home Tiromoana in Okitu.

Read the rest of the Gisborne Herald article here.

 

Debut CD by Tony Chen Lin

Jack Richards has sponsored a debut CD  – Digressions – by pianist Tony Chen Lin (New Zealand/Germany). The CD contains Tony’s performance of Bartók’s Piano Sonata, Bach’s French Suite No.5, Schumann’s Humoreske and Tony’s own composition Digression (Meditation on R.S.). The CD is produced by the New Zealand music label Rattle.

The CD was launched at a reception at Jack’s Wellington apartment on April 7 2018.

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NZ Concerts by Jun Hong Loh & Tony Chen Lin

In April 2018 Jack Richards sponsored a series of concerts in New Zealand by Singapore violinist Jun Hong Loh (winner of the 2015 Gisborne International Music Competition) and pianist Tony Chen Lin. Their program consisted of music by Mozart, Gao Ping, and Grieg.

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Tiromoana in NZ Gardener

Professor Richards’ home in Gisborne has been featured in NZ Gardener Magazine

There comes a time in a well-travelled person’s life when the siren song of home becomes more insistent.

For many years, Jack Richards, a professor of linguistics, and his partner, Won Gyu Moon, divided their time between international work commitments, and their homes in Sydney and Korea. Richards’ frenetic schedule of lecturing, writing and touring made breaks in his home town of Gisborne all the more precious…

The article is available online here: Gisborne’s Garden Over the Sea: A Sanctuary for Nature and Art

Current Scholarships and Grants 2018

  • Jack Richards sponsored recordings of CDs by Tony Chen Lin (piano) and Lixin Zhang. Both CDs will be published by Rattle Records, New Zealand
  • In April, Jack Richards is sponsoring a series of recitals by Singaporean violinist Jun Hong Loh (winner of the 2016 Gisborne International Music Competition) and New Zealand pianist Tony Chen Lin.
  • Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne New Zealand– sponsorship of 6 concerts featuring students from the New Zealand School of Music
  • Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne – grant for acquisition (Ruanuku award)
  • Toihoukura program in Contemporary Maori Arts, Gisborne – student scholarships
  • Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation – grant to support the Foundation’s support for emerging opera singers
  • Support for university studies: Lester Cajes Manila; John Yanson Manila; Sedigh Mohammadi  UK
  • Professional development grant: Tony Chen Lin (pianist), New Zealand/Germany
  • Sponsorship of websites for Jun Hong Lo (More Than Music) and Tony Chen Lin.
  • Dr Richards also provides ongoing sponsorship of The Gisborne International Music Competition.

Support for School Chamber Music Groups

Jack Richards is now offering travel support to all competitors who reach the finals in the New Zealand Chamber Music Competition, an annual competition for school chamber music groups that attracts over 500 entrants every year.

Some 40 make their way to the national finals that are held either in Wellington, Auckland or Christchurch and all will now receive a Jack Richards travel grant.