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Goetz Richter is a violinist, teacher and thinker with a dual background in music and philosophy. He is currently Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music where he co-ordinates performance studies for violinists. Previous positions include a fifteen-year tenure as Associate Concertmaster with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1987-2002) and early career positions as Associate Principal Violin II with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (1986-87) and Concertmaster of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra (1985-1986). As a violinist Richter has appeared as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe. He has given concerto performances with Australian Orchestras and has been a leader and guest leader of a number of Australian Orchestras. Chamber music collaborations include performances with Herrmann Baumann, Gerard Fauth, Bernhard Greenhouse and others. With pianist Jeanell Carrigan he has a long standing duo partnership that has included recital performances throughout Australia and in Europe, appearance for Musica Viva and broadcasts for the ABC. As an orchestral musician, principal and leader Richter has worked with eminent conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, Neeme Jaervi, Yuri Temirkanov, Edo de Waart, David Zinman, Mariss Jansons, Vladimir Ashkenazy and many others.  

Born in Hamburg, Goetz Richter completed his performance studies at the Munich “Hochschule für Musik” following studies with Gerhart Hetzel. He also benefited from further intensive studies with Max Rostal and advanced solo-performance studies with Arthur Grumiaux and Riccardo Odnopossoff. Following his appointment to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Richter studied philosophy, psychology and philosophy of science at Sydney University completing a PhD in philosophy in 2007. In 2012 Richter initiated a cross-disciplinary research and performance project at the University of Sydney (“Elective Affinities”) which explores the connections between music and philosophy through performance and theoretical research. His research in philosophy includes the philosophy of music, the philosophy of musical performance and the philosophy of music education.

In 1997 Richter was appointed to the Sydney Conservatorium as the Chair of Strings where he teaches performance students and supervises higher degree students in a number of research areas. His students achieve success as prize-winners of national and international competitions, are appointed to positions in orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and Australia and are active as teachers in Australia and abroad. His leadership of the Sydney Conservatorium String department was prominently featured in a special 2004 edition of “The Strad” magazine. In 2005 and 2006 Richter was invited to the faculty of the Euro Arts Music Festival in Leipzig. He frequently gives masterclasses and pedagogical seminars in Shanghai (2015, Shanghai International Masterclasses), Guangzhou, Wuhan and Fuzhou (2017), Singapore and New Zealand (NZ Music Teachers’ Association 2015) and throughout Australia. He convenes the Australian Violin Pedagogy Conference (most recently in 2015 in Launceston) and he is an editor of the on-line string pedagogy journal String Praxis. He was founding Artistic Director of the Camden Haven Music Festival, Artistic Director of the Riverina Summer School for Strings (2012-2017) and he is the founding Artistic Director of the Kendall National Violin Competition. In 2013 he was appointed visiting professor at the Wuhan Conservatorium in China.  

During his tenure with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Richter served as Vice-President and President of the Sydney Musicians’ Association and as President of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Benevolent Fund. He was a principal architect and negotiator of the 1995 Musicians’ Enterprise Agreement that introduced major industrial reform to Australian Symphony Orchestras following their divestment from the ABC. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 2007 until 2016 and continues to contribute to research topics related to the working life of musicians, the long-term sustainability of orchestras and orchestral careers, challenges of artists’ performance management and effective communication and internal leadership in orchestras.

Richter has published articles on philosophy, the philosophy of Plato and Nietzsche, the philosophy of music and topics related to the philosophy of musical performance, pedagogy, violin pedagogy and the philosophy of performance teaching and learning. His translation of Eugen Fink’s book on Nietzsche’s philosophy is published by Continuum and a study of the relationship between music and philosophy (The Congruence of Music and Philosophy) by VDM Saarbruecken.   

© Goetz Richter, 2017