Richard Kastle Official Website
Bio
Richard Kastle began piano lessons at 10-years-old studying with Mary Anne Quick. She was quoted in the Miami Herald saying, "He's a musical genius. He walked in and played the Hungarian Rhapsody by Franz Liszt after hearing it in a cartoon. Back then, he couldn't even read music." As a teenager, he studied with Ivan Davis, Artist in Residence at the University of Miami and student of Horowitz. Davis was quoted in the LA Times saying, "He was a very bright boy with lots of technical facility. Very talented." Kastle composed his first piano concerto at 14 and performed it the next year. The city of Hialeah, Florida, recognized Kastle's accomplishments by naming March 30, 1976, "Richard Kastle Day." 

He continued studying with Davis while a piano major at the University of North Texas where he studied with Larry Walz.
 After moving to Los Angeles, he studied film scoring at UCLA with Academy Award nominated composer Walter Scharff.

In the late 1980's, Kastle had a big impact on the music scene in Venice Beach, California, where he gained notoriety as the rebel of classical music, attracting surfers and punkers to monthly piano recitals. He performed a different program each month featuring classical standards along with his new symphonies and concertos. He ended each concert with Liszt's La Campanella or the second Hungarian Rhapsody. 

The LA Weekly commented, "He drove his teachers batty, the famed Ivan Davis among them, with fiendishly difficult arrangements of works already known as finger twisters. (His version of Liszt's 'La Campanella' etude is said to be impossible.)" 

The Venice Beach concerts received world wide acclaim with articles in American, European and Middle Eastern publications. He was invited to perform as the musical guest on a Canadian television show, CBC’s Pilot One. He made his network television debut in the United States on CBS's The Pat Sajak Show and had eight minutes of coverage on CNN. 

Virgin Records offered him a recording contract in 1991. He promoted his debut release, Streetwise, on numerous television shows, performing Batcave at Dusk on NBC's The Tonight Show and Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 on the Joan Rivers Show. He toured as the opening act for comedians Jay Leno and the late George Carlin. His live perfrormances and television appearances made him the top selling classical recording artist on Virgin. 
Cleveland Scene Magazine reported, "Streetwise became the biggest selling album on Virgin Classics."

In 1992, Virgin sent Kastle to London to record his fifth concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra. The piece is also known as the "Royce Concerto." Entertainment Tonight interviewed him about his recordings with Virgin Records.
Soon after the recording was finished, Richard Brandson sold his record label to EMI. European executives closed the New York offices and prevented Kastle from having a release or moving to another label. They also cancelled Virgin Record's plans to record Kastle's third symhony, whch is based on the sinking of the RMS Titanic. In 1997, the Royce Concerto was released by an independent label. Kastle performed additional shows with Jay Leno that year. 


Richard Kastle

Kastle conducted the premiers of his Symphony #5 and Titanic Symphony at Lincoln Center in 1999. He also appeared at Lincoln Center in 1996, performing a piano recital that included original compositions along with works by Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. Kastle debuted his Piano Concerto #8 with an orchestra at Symphony Space in NYC in 2003. He  has continued to perform piano recitals in concert halls since the 1980's.

Symphony Venezia was constructed between 2001 and 2006. The work involved several trips to Venezia, where Kastle created most of the material between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM in Paizza San Marco. The crowds of tourists and the associated noises made it almost impossible for the work to be created during the day.

He is currently creating his Piano Concerto #9, which will be his grandest concerto. The finale ends with virtuoso fireworks that are more difficult then the pianistic ability of modern day virtuosos, who lack the ability to fire out custom signals like the pianists from the past who were also composers.  

In 2012, CBS News interviewed him about his Titanic Symphony as part of the coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking. Dic Press published a biography about Richard Kastle that year. The book was edited by Dismas Renald Apostolos. A second biography, written by Ronald Cohn and Jesse Russel, was published by Bookvilin Publishing last year.

In spite of the promise Kastle made on television to retire from virtuoso concertizing by age 40 in order to focus on composition, he still performs piano recitals on college campuses and for performing arts series. Another piano recital at Lincoln Center is currently in the works. 


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