Richard Tunnicliffe discovered his lifelong interest in early music whilst studying the cello at the Royal College of Music. He took up the viol and the baroque cello, and all three instruments have featured largely in his long and varied career. He has been principal cellist, continuo player or soloist on both cello and gamba with many orchestras, including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, of which he was a founder member, the Scottish Chamber, City of Birmingham Symphony and the Boston Symphony. He was a member of the renowned viol consort Fretwork from 2004 -15. He now divides his time between teaching, chamber music and solo playing, in which his partners have included pianists Joanna MacGregor, Maggie Cole and Nigel Yandell, harpsichordists Steven Devine, James Johnstone, Malcolm Proud and Robert Howarth and lutenist Paula Chateauneuf.
A large discography includes works from the 16thC to the present day and his recordings of the Cello Concerti by John Garth (Avison Ensemble, Divine Art) and the Bach cello suites (Linn Records) have been highly praised by critics and broadcast frequently. He teaches at the Royal College of Music, London and has been a regular visitor to Dartington International Summer School, as well as presenting master-classes, seminars and lecture-recitals across the globe.
More recently he has gone back to his roots in the modern cello, and in 2018 he and his daughter, viola player Luba Tunnicliffe, launched Clun Valley Music in their home village in South Shropshire. The opening festival “Voices from Darkness” took place over the weekend of the Armistice centenary commemoration and featured chamber music from WW1. In July 2020 they launched their series of online recitals with a shared performance of the complete Bach Cello Suites. For details please visit www.clunvalleymusic.co.uk