Steven Rickards has received international acclaim as one of America’s finest countertenors. He was the first countertenor to be awarded a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Indiana University, receiving his artist diploma in 1979. In 1981 Rickards received a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship and a Rotary International Grant for continued studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He also studied in Aldeburgh with Peter Pears and Robert Spencer. He has appeared with a variety of early music ensembles in the United States and Britain, in addition to performances with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Santa Fe Opera, and the orchestras of St Louis, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. He has sung at Carnegie Hall with the Oratorio Society of New York and in France with Robert Shaw.
In 1996 he participated, as co-organiser and juror, in the Alfred Deller Memorial Countertenor Competition in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Among other distinguished collaborations, in 1994 he made his début with the New York Mostly Mozart Festival in Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Bach Ensemble under the direction of Joshua Rifkin and subsequently appeared at a London Promenade Concert performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the same director.
Steven Rickards has also appeared in modern repertoire, including the world première in 1993 in Prague of Ladislav Kubik’s homage to Franz Kafka, Der Weg, as well as in modern revivals of rarer Baroque repertoire.