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 2018-19 season, Fountain will be performing the Fifth, Seventh, and Eighth symphonies. Other highlights for 2018-19 include performances of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio with violinist John Gilbert and cellist George Work, a celebration of contemporary women composers with clarinetist Sandra Mosteller, and a special performance of Liszt’s two-piano transcription of the choral finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with pianist Sharon Lavery and the Central Texas Choral Society.
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, serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Music Teachers Association, has served as President of the Lubbock Music Teachers Association. He also serves as chanter and choir director 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 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.