Amidst the pantheon of Australian classical musicians, Richard Narroway stands out as a beacon of innovation and extraordinary talent, having been awarded the 2020 Freedman Classical Fellowship—an accolade that pays homage to his remarkable contributions to the classical music genre. His talents have earned him recognition from esteemed publications such as Gramophone Magazine, which celebrates his “exhilarating authority” and “captivating sensitivity.”
Narroway’s role as a lecturer at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, signifies his commitment to education and the nurturing of future talent in the classical music arena. His influence, however, transcends the academic sphere, reaching audiences worldwide through his celebrated recordings, including his critically acclaimed albums featuring the works of Bach and Requiem.
The Sydney-born cellist’s lineage is rich with musical prowess. His father, David Narroway, a violinist and conductor, has performed with distinguished orchestras including the Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Susan Blake, Richard’s mother and an esteemed cellist in her own right, has contributed her skills to notable ensembles, enhancing the musical heritage from which Richard springs. The parental duo, who met during their studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, have been in a harmonious partnership for over three decades and have been intrinsic to Richard’s development as a cellist.
Embarking on his musical voyage at the tender age of six, Narroway received his first lessons from his mother before advancing his studies at the Sydney Conservatorium High School and the Australian National Academy of Music. Under the tutelage of celebrated cellists such as Julian Smiles, Steven Isserlis, Ralph Kirshbaum, Pieter Wispelwey, and David Geringas, he honed his skills and crafted his distinctive style.
As of January 2024, at the age of 32, Richard Narroway’s journey in classical music has been nothing short of inspirational. Born on October 10, 1991, he took his passion for music to the United States in 2009, beginning his undergraduate studies at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, under Joel Krosnick. His educational pursuits continued at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music in Chicago and eventually led him to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he completed his doctorate and served as a teaching assistant.
With Melbourne as his base since 2019, Narroway not only imparts knowledge to the next generation of musicians but also captivates audiences as a soloist and chamber musician. His performances have graced stages like the Kennedy Center, Chicago Symphony Center, Koerner Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. His collaborations with luminaries such as Bright Sheng, Augusta Read Thomas, Michael Daugherty, and Paul Stanhope, further exhibit his contribution to the evolution of classical music on the global stage.