As President of the Budleigh Jazz Festival Sir Richard was well known to many local residents. He lived at various houses in Budleigh for more than 20 years until the family settled in
His father was a writer and his mother a fine musician and pianist, organising local recitals and madrigal groups in which the teenage Richard and his friends would take part. His childhood was not especially happy according to Anthony Meredith’s much praised magistral biography, and moving to
As a music student in London
Earning a living as a composer from the age of 19 he had a dazzling career, writing award-winning screen music, operas, choral works and symphonies all of which secured for him an international reputation for versatility. Far from the Madding Crowd, Billion Dollar Brain and Four Weddings and a Funeral are just three of the films for which he wrote the soundtrack. He was knighted for services to music in 1998.
20 January 2013. Comment from Janet Parrish:
I had the pleasure of driving RRB to East Budleigh after a concert (his) for the Budleigh Festival. I think he was staying with some friends over there. He brought with him a very good (and well known jazz singer, Clair Martin...but not to me sadly. I am not into jazz, though her name seemed familiar.) He was very friendly and talked about his time in Budleigh. He pointed out a number of places that were familiar to him in the past, such as the creamery at the bottom of the High Street. (which obviously is still there, he was pleased to learn).