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.
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.
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.
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.
In February and March 2017 Jack Richards sponsored a series of New Zealand concerts by EDITH FISCHER – pianist and protégé of Claudio Arrau and Founder and Artistic Director of Semaine Internationale de Piano et Musique de Chambre, Blonay, Switzerland, and her husband JORGE PEPI-ALOS – pianist and composer Professor at the University of Chile, Santiago. Their visit included a piano recital for four-hands as part of the Tiromoana Summer Concert Series (held in Jack and Won Gyu Moon’s New Zealand summer residence) as well as a recital as part of the Creative New Zealand/Jack C Richards Composer in Residence Program at Victoria University, Wellington.
In the photo Jack is seen with Edith and Jorge following their Christchurch recital, and together with Christchurch pianist Tony Chen Lin, who accompanied the musicians on their New Zealand tour.