Composer and Musician
Over four decades Richard Thompson has developed his reputation as a sensitive songwriter and virtuoso guitarist.
Richard Thompson's career can be defined in three phases. The first, from 1966 to 1971, the time when he left school and played with Fairport Convention; the second, from 1972 to 1982, representing his partnership with Linda Thompson; and the third, from 1982 to present as a solo musician. It is a career represented by a body of work of over 400 songs and more than 100 recordings.
As a founding member of Fairport Convention, and while still a teenager, he was responsible for a number of iconic songs such as Meet on the Ledge.
These songs presaged his unique mix of rock and traditional music and his vast catalogue of songs that have been covered by a wide range of artists including Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, REM, Los Lobos, David Byrne, Alison Krause and many others.
The consistently high standard of his songwriting has been formally recognized by an Ivor Novello Award and his most recent album received a Grammy nomination in February of this year.
Mr Thompson's musicianship matches his creativity as a songwriter. Equally at home in electric or acoustic mode, his virtuoso guitar playing is unusual.
His distinctive idiosyncratic style - with its roots in traditional folk music - still echoes the jigs and reels of his time with Fairport Convention. He was awarded the Orville H Gibson award for Best Acoustic Guitarist in 1997, the MOJO Les Paul Award in 2010, and was named one of Rolling Stone Magazine's Top 20 Guitarists of All Time.
Last year he was appointed curator of London's Meltdown Festival at the South Bank Centre and has recently added to his repertoire a theatrical song cycle entitled "Cabaret of Souls" that includes original compositions for string orchestra as well as guitar, bass and voice. As a performer, whether solo or fronting his own band, Richard Thompson is noted for his 'dizzying' energy and onstage wit. An intelligent proponent of contemporary 'folk' rock music he remains to this day an influential and innovative artist.