Richard Wheeler, principal trombone
Born in Liverpool United Kingdom, Richard Wheeler began trombone lessons in school when he was nine years old. Following success as a soloist in local music festivals, he was later awarded a scholarship to study at the Junior department of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from the age of 13 until 16, whilst at 15 years old gained a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
In 1996 he won a scholarship to study at Chethams School of Music in Manchester, and once again in 1998 to study at the Royal Academy of Music ( London ) under legendary trombonists Ian Bousfield and Denis Wick, whilst also attending masterclasses given by Christian Lindberg.
During his time at the RAM he gained a place in the Vienna based Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester as principal trombone, performing throughout Europe with renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Mariss Jansons, Ivan Fischer, and Franz Welser Most.
Before graduating from the RAM, Richard was appointed Principal Trombone of the Milan Symphony Orchestra after auditioning to a panel led by Riccardo Chailly. This period consisted of various recordings for the Decca label and tours of Italy, South America and Japan.
After two full seasons he left the orchestra in 2005 pursuing a busy freelance career winning various auditions and collaborating with many orchestras such as Teatro La Scala di Milano, Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Arena di Verona, Orchestra Sinfonica di San Remo, I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano, The Orchestra of Opera North ( Leeds ), RTE Concert Orchestra ( Dublin ), Philharmonia Orchestra ( London ), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ( London ), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra ( Manchester ), BBC Philharmonic ( Manchester ), Scottish Opera ( Glasgow ), and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
In 2012 Richard was appointed Principal Trombone of the Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma after auditioning to Riccardo Muti, Charles Vernon, and Joel Vaisse. In the same year he also successfully auditioned for the joint principal trombone position of the Philharmonia Orchestra ( London ).
In more recent years ( since 2014 ) Richard has collaborated with the Fondazione Petruzzelli di Bari, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Toscanini Orchestra di Parma,,Maggio Musicale di Firenze, and Haydn Orchestra di Bolzano.
Since January 2018 he occupies the position of Principal Trombone of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra.