Praised for his “clear, expressive playing,” “mature display of pyrotechnics,” and “seasoned artistry,” pianist Richard Fountain has steadily garnered recognition for his versatile abilities as soloist, collaborator, and teacher. Fountain’s unusually diverse repertoire includes Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” as well as concertos by MacDowell, Shostakovich, and J.S. Bach, in addition to thoughtfully programmed solo recitals and extensive experience as a vocal, instrumental, chamber, and choral collaborator. He has appeared in recital with Charles Vernon, principal bass trombone of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Mark Nuccio, principal clarinet of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and has served as conference pianist for such organizations as the International Clarinet Association and the International Horn Competition of America. Fountain’s accolades include the Early Achiever Award from the Nebraska Alumni Association, the “Teacher of the Year” award from the Lubbock Music Teachers Association, and joint Third Prize in The American Prize for Solo Piano for his solo recording “American Ivory.”
Fountain’s current solo recital project is a complete cycle of Franz Liszt’s monumental transcriptions of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, each paired with a solo Beethoven sonata. This three-year project commemorates the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth in 2020. During the 2019-20 season Fountain is presenting the Second, Fourth, and Ninth Symphonies. Other highlights include Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Mendelssohn’s “Capriccio Brillant” with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, and an all-American two-piano program with Kennith Freeman. His recording of Gary D. Belshaw’s “Passacaglia” will be released by RMN Classical in 2019 as part of a collection of modern music for piano.
Fountain holds the positions of Principal Keyboard with both Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra. He is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, has served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Music Teachers Association, as President of the Lubbock Music Teachers Association, and is the founding president of the West Texas Chapter of the American Liszt Society. He also serves as head chanter at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in Lubbock. Originally from Springfield, Nebraska, Fountain began studies with his mother Judy and continued with David Gerard. He then studied with Leon Harshenin at Taylor University and with Paul Barnes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Fountain is full Professor of Piano at Wayland Baptist University, where he has received WBU’s highest recognition for professional activity, the “Contribution to the Profession” award. Fountain earned an MBA in Management from Wayland in 2019, and continues to advocate for artists, administrators, and businesses to interact in mutually beneficial ways.
Fountain is an accomplished traveler, having traveled to forty-four of the fifty United States and nine other countries. He particularly loves long road trips on the open highways of America, and possesses a strangely comprehensive knowledge of the U.S. Interstate Highway system.