Richard Stead was born in Newton Mearns, and grew up in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire. After retiring in the mid 1990s he studied composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the RSAMD in Glasgow. His works have been performed by members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Edinburgh Quartet at the Loch Shiel Festival, and his setting of the Lord’s Prayer has been sung by choirs in Indiana and Texas.
Richard Stead was born in Newton Mearns, and moved to Kilmacolm at the age of three, where he grew up. By the time he was 14 he wanted to become a composer, but his parents thought it a hazardous career. In the event he realized he was not as good as Beethoven, so he joined the family business, Gratispool Ltd, where he worked as a Sales Director, then overseas as Export Director until the original company was sold. It was not until he fully retired at 55 that he took up writing music again as a hobby after becoming friends with the singer and composer Patrick Stephen Samuels.
He studied piano under Michael Lester-Cribb at Fettes College, and in recent years returned to study composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the RSAMD in Glasgow. He has also studied harmony with Aberdeen University KEY learning facility, passing the course with Honours.
In 1999 Patrick Stephen Samuels scored his piano Impromptu No.1 for flute, clarinet, horn, bassoon and double bass, and it was played by members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Loch Shiel Festival with some success. He has arranged most of the short piano pieces in his Suite for the Grandchildren for strings, and Marianne’s Tune was played by the Edinburgh Quartet with the string section of the Lochaber Music School at the same festival in 2000. The Lord’s Prayer was accepted and performed at St Jude’s Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and subsequently elsewhere in Indiana and Texas by other choirs.