photo of Richey Hawley Belcher



During his 17 years as principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), Richie Hawley made an indelible mark on the institution. Hailed by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “an example of the real virtuosity that lies within the [CSO’s] ranks” and praised for possessing the “seamless flowing tone so many clarinetists long for and few can achieve,” he has wowed audiences and critics with his technique and velvety tone. Richie has also left his mark on recorded classical music, appearing on dozens of albums with the CSO. With many of the 60plus; TELARC recordings by the CSO and Cincinnati Pops during his tenure featuring major solos of the clarinet repertoire, Richie’s memorable playing has been frequently singled out. American Record Guide hailed his “gorgeous” solo in Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 as "the crowning achievement” of the CSO’s recording with Maestro Jesus Lopez-Cobos. In 2011, Richie left the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and moved to Houston, Texas to become the Professor of Clarinet at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. During the summer months he is in residence as a faculty artist at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. Richie’s students have gone on to win positions in the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and many others. Richie has garnered awards both as a performer and an educator. He won the Coleman-Barstow prize at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 1988 with Trio con Brio, the same year he was one of five musicians to receive the Gold Medal as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts from Ronald Reagan in a ceremony at the White House. He is a two-time recipient of the Leacute; ni Feacute; Bland Foundation Career Grant and was awarded the 2009 Glover Award for outstanding teaching at University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. A native Angeleno, Richie began studying clarinet with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn School of Performing Arts at age 9. He made his orchestral solo debut at age 13 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; his New York Philharmonic solo debut came only a year later at the age of 14. While a student of Donald Montanaro at the Curtis Institute of Music, Richie appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.