Composer Jared Richardson so impressed Victoria Symphony director Tania Miller

View Royal composer makes a splash

In his dark square-framed glasses, Jared Richardson looks confident and at ease sitting at the helm of his baby grand piano.

In his dark square-framed glasses, Jared Richardson looks confident and at ease sitting at the helm of his baby grand piano.

It’s not surprising. The 17-year-old View Royal virtuoso has played piano since age five and started composing music at age 11. He has his sights set on writing music for Hollywood movies, like John Williams or Hans Zimmer.

As difficult and rare as it is to make a career as a composer, Richardson is well on his way. The recent Spectrum secondary grad is the first young musician to have an original score accepted to the Symphony Splash program.

Written at age 16 after a family hiking trip to Kananaskis, Alta., Richardson’s Winds of Kananaskis is on the lineup after Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers and before Remembering the Beatles for the wildly popular Victoria Symphony concert in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

Victoria Symphony music director Tania Miller first heard Kananaskis at a young composers workshop in April this year, and knew immediately it had the spark of brilliance.

“Tania Miller called me and said she’d like to perform it at Symphony Splash,” Richardson said. “I was surprised. I was like wow, that’s cool. Symphony Splash will be the first full performance I’ve had.”

He originally composed Winds of Kananaskis for his high school band and later expanded it for a full orchestra – 25 different instruments. The original score took a few weeks to assemble and a few weeks more for an orchestra. He used software to get a sense of the overall sound, but hearing it emerge from the symphony workshop was more than he’d hoped for.

“I used a computer program with a virtual symphony, but to hear real people playing it, the sound is so much better. Hearing it brought to life is an amazing experience.”

Miller says Richardson’s work was selected from a group of composers mostly in their 20s and 30s. It’s almost unheard of for such a teenage composer to produce work of such depth and imagination, she said in an interview.

“To compose at such a young age at such a deep level of music and music making is rare. Most students at Jared’s age are just learning to play notes and rhythms,” Miller said.

“(Winds of Kananaskis) is very joyful, upbeat and spirited melody. For me, Jared’s piece has got a young pulse running through it, that will get everybody in the excited spirit that we all have a Symphony Splash.”

This is the first young composer score in Splash, but it won’t necessarily be an annual part of the show. Miller said its extremely rare for a young musician to generate that quality of work.

“Jared is unique. I’ve never seen work like this from somebody at a high school age. Kids in high school are not usually at that level.”

Richardson started composing music by playing around on his piano, and it grew from there. Since composing Winds of Kananaskis he’s written two more orchestra pieces and has an overall body of work of 70 scores covering jazz, classical and a few small films. “One film was called ‘Math Ninjas.’ It was small budget but good practice,” he said laughing. “I plan to be a film composer for a career.”

This September he’ll start a music degree at the University of Victoria, with the long term goal of entering the film scoring program a the University of Southern California.

“Every year they have a young soloist for Splash, but this is the first time ever for a young composer,” Richardson says. “I won’t get to conduct the orchestra, but I’ll be watching.”

Richardson and his brother Ash regularly perform jazz at the Superior restaurant in Victoria. Richardson’s music can be heard at For more on Symphony Splash










Just Posted

Free firework safety courses coming to the West Shore right before Halloween

No permit? You could be fined anywhere between $100 and $10,000

Fairfield-Gonzales residents aim to establish senior care phone line

The Fairfield-Gonzales Village would allow seniors living alone to have a direct line to resources

Vendors open doors to new futures at Black Press Extreme Education & Career Fair

More tham two dozen employers, educators signed on for Victoria event

Persons Day to be marked with literary readings in Sidney

Peninsula authors to read from their new books relating to women and courageous journeys, Oct. 18

Antimatter 2019: The best in experimental media art comes to Victoria

22nd annual festival of film, performance art and more biggest ever – 120 artists, 30 countries

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read