Born in London on 25 September 1953, Richard Harvey learned to play the recorder when he was four years old. He switched to percussion and then played clarinet in the British Youth Symphony Orchestra. By the time he graduated from London’s Royal College of Music in 1972, he was accomplished on the recorder, flute, krumhorn, and other mediaeval and Renaissance-era instruments, as well as the mandolin and various keyboards. Instead of joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he chose to work with Musica Reservata, an early music ensemble. He subsequently met another RCM graduate, Brian Gulland, and went on to form the progressive rock and folk band Gryphon. During that period, he also worked with other folk rock musicians such as Richard and Linda Thompson and Ashley Hutchings. When Gryphon wound down in the late 1970’s, he became a session musician, playing the recorder on Kate’s song Oh England My Lionheart.
Harvey also became involved in composing for film and television. His first work was to provide music for the television series ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ in 1979. He has subsequently supplied scores to over 80 television and film projects. Notable works include 1979’s ‘Martian Chronicles’ ending titles, the horror film ‘House of the Long Shadows’ (1983), ‘Half Moon Street’ (1986), ‘Luther’ (2003) and, most recently, in 2006, Ron Howard’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and Gabriel Range’s ‘Death of a President’. In addition he has been a musician on such films as ‘The Lion King’, ‘Enemy of the State’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’.
Harvey is also a prolific composer of production music and founding partner of West One Music Group along with Edwin Cox and Tony Prior. Harvey’s first recorder concerto (Concerto Incantato) enjoyed its world premiere on Michala Petri’s CD English Recorder Concertos in March 2012, alongside works by Malcolm Arnold and Gordon Jacob.