Annette Richards divides her time between musical scholarship and performance. Born in London, Richards holds a bachelorís degree in English from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where she served as organ scholar. In 1991 she received the prestigious Performerís Degree in organ from the Sweelinck Conservatorium, Amsterdam, and four years later the Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University (California).
A specialist in music of the Italian and North German Baroque, Ms. Richards has given recitals on numerous historic and modern instruments in the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Germany, and the United States. She also regularly performs music from the virtuosic nineteenth- and twentieth-century repertories, and prizes she has won at international festivals and competitions include third prize at the 1992 Dublin International Organ Competition and, in 1994, first prize with David Yearsley at the famous Bruges Early Music Festival in the competition for organ duo.
Her scholarly work is marked by being interdisciplinary, and has focused on late-eighteenth-century music and its relationship with the visual and literary arts. She was a Fellow at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in Santa Monica, California, in 1994-95; she won a New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation in 2002; and in 2004-05 she was a Humboldt Foundation Fellow. Along with dance historian Mark Franco she edited a volume of essays entitled Acting on the Past: Historical Performance Across the Disciplines (2000); her book, "The Free Fantasia and the Musical Picturesque", which explores the intersections between musical fantasy and the landscape garden in late eighteenth-century German music culture, came out in 2001 from Cambridge University Press. Annette Richards is associate professor of music and university organist at Cornell University.