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Richard Steinitz retired from the full-time staff in 2004, and was awarded an Hon DLitt and title of Emeritus Professor by the University. He was for many years a leading member of the composition staff specialising in twentieth-century music. He continues to teach composition part-time and is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and conservatoires both in the UK and abroad. In 1978 Richard founded, and was for 23 years artistic director of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, which is closely linked to the University and has become one of the most important new music festivals in the world. Since its inception the Festival has welcomed to Huddersfield virtually all major living composers, key members of the music profession, students, impressively large audiences from Britain and abroad, plus many of the finest international soloists and ensembles performing numerous UK and world premieres.
Richard was a music scholar at Kings College Cambridge. He studied composition with Anthony Milner and later with Goffredo Petrassi on an Italian government scholarship in Rome. He won second prize in the 1978 BBC Young Composers Competition for Songs from the 1001 Nights and the Clements Memorial Prize for Chamber Music for his Quartet in Memoriam in 1981. He is also a musicologist and writer, having contributed to many journals, reference aand other books. He is author of the leading book in English on the Hungarian composer György Ligeti, co-published in 2003 by Faber & Faber and by Northeastern University Press in the USA where it won an award for excellence from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers His development of the Contemporary Music Festival has been recognised by several distinctions, including conferment of an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours in 1995.
As an Emeritus Professor, Richard Steinitz is not taking on new research supervision.