Richard Jenkinson’s musical education began at the age of five when he started to play the 'cello. He was awarded a scholarship by Derbyshire County Council and studied with Florence Hooton and William Pleeth. Whilst in the sixth form, Richard began his conducting studies with Michael Salter at Repton School. In 1990 he won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, studying ‘cello with Raphael Wallfisch and William Pleeth and conducting with Alan Hazeldine. He graduated with Distinction in 1994 and was awarded the Guildhall's coveted Gold Medal for a performance of the Dvořák ‘cello Concerto in the Barbican. In 1995 he was awarded a top prize at the Vittorio Gui Chamber Music Competition in Italy and was invited to be part of the Countess of Munster recital scheme. This has led to a very productive partnership with the pianist Benjamin Frith, including recitals at London's Wigmore Hall, King’s Place and South Bank Centre. The duo has given many recitals together which recently have included performances of Beethoven’s complete works for piano and cello with the academic Richard Wigmore. Richard and Ben have made several recordings including Stanford for the Somm label (to be released in the Autumn of 2020) and works by Ivor Gurney, Cyril Scott and Ian Venables for the Emm label.
Richard Jenkinson has given concerto performances with the BBC Concert Orchestra, C.B.S.O., Irish Chamber Orchestra and Venezuelan Symphony and has performed the Elgar Concerto in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and the Dvořák Concerto in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague. In 1995 Richard was appointed principal 'cello with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and from 1998-2016 was principal ‘cello with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
In May 2012 Richard joined the Dante String Quartet and has performed at the Wigmore Hall, King’s Place and also given several live BBC Radio 3 broadcasts. The quartet’s ‘Beethoven journey’ was also featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. As the cellist of the Dante Quartet he has recorded Kodály’s String Quartets for Hyperion, Herbert Howells Quartets for Naxos and Stanford’s complete string quartets on the Somm label. The quartet has performed several cycles of the complete Beethoven Quartets and toured Japan in 2016. During 2018 the Dante Quartet played cycles of Beethoven and Shostakovich Quartets and undertook tours of France and Japan. In the Autumn of 2019 the Dante Quartet recorded Stanford’s string quintets for Somm which will be released in 2020.
Richard Jenkinson is Musical Director of the British Police Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of St John, Bromsgrove. From 2016-19 he was Music Director of the orchestra and choir of the G.K.T. Music Society at King's College, London and, since September 2017, has been conductor of the Worcestershire Youth Orchestra. He has conducted cycles of the complete Beethoven Symphonies and Piano Concertos with O.S.J. culminating with the Ninth Symphony in Worcester Cathedral. Concerts with the B.P.S.O. have included performances at Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals and regular concerts at Beacon Park and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. In May 2019 Richard conducted the B.P.S.O. at the Royal Albert Hall, London celebrating the orchestra’s 30th anniversary involving fanfare trumpets, troupes of bagpipers and massed choirs from around the United Kingdom which involved over 600 performers. He has made several recordings directing the Innovation Chamber Ensemble including piano concertos with Mark Bebbington, Wassanaer’s Concerti Armonici and Elgar’s music for Powick Asylum on the Somm label.
Richard completed a Ph.D. on the music of Zoltán Kodály at the University of Birmingham where he was awarded a Bramall scholarship.