Richard Hundley – musician

Richard Albert Hundley, born September 1, 1931 in Cincinnati, Ohio, is an American pianist and composer of American art songs for voice and piano.  When Hundley was seven years old he moved to his paternal grandmother’s home in Covington, Kentucky and began piano lessons.  At the age of ten, he attended his first opera, Il trovatore by Guiseppe Verdi.  Hundley began piano lessons at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with Madame Illona Voorm at the age of eleven. At age fourteen, Hundley performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Northern Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.  Two years later he soloed with the Cincinnati Symphony.

Hundley moved to New York City in 1950 and enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music but dropped out shortly after.  In 1960, Hundley was selected for the Metropolitan Opera Chorus. In preparation for this position Hundley learned to sing ten operas in four different languages.  Hundley shared his original songs with some of the singers at the Metropolitan.  As a result, Anneliese Rothenberger, Rosalind Elias, Anna Moffo, Teresa Stratas, Lili Chookasian, John Reardon and Betty Allen began performing his songs on stage.  In 1962 when soprano Eileen DiTullio sang two of his songs, Softly the Summer and Spring, in a concert at Town Hall in New York City.  Paul Kapp, Director of General Music Publishing Company was in attendance and he scheduled a meeting with Hundley to discuss publishing the two compositions.  During the period of 1962-1964, General Music Publishing Company published seven of Hundley’s songs.  The American art song specialist, Paul Sperry began performing and advocating Hundley’s music in the late 1960s.  In 1982 the International American Music Competition included his Eight Songs set in its repertoire list. The 1983 and 1984 Newport Music Festivals also performed his work.  In 1987, Hundley was declared one of the standard American composers for vocalists by the International American Music Competition.


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