Dick Blackford was born in Bristol in 1936, moved to Middlesborough and was educated at Aclam Hall Grammar School.
After studying music at Manchester University he taught for 36 years before retiring in 1995 from York Sixth Form College.

He now devotes his time to composition, receiving many commissions for his music. Dick is a prolific composer and has been so since before his teaching days. His works spread across all forms of music including choral, orchestral and instrumental music.

He has always responded to the English pastoral tradition and this influence is evident in much of his music.

The Prophet a cantata; Missa Bonae Spei a mass written for the York Minster Chapter House Choir; numerous carols for choirs (SATB); madrigals (SATB); and a song cycle, Grace for Love, for soprano and piano, inspired by poems by Jeni Couzyn, all in the rich tradition of English Song. Dick’s carol, Sweet was the Song the Virgin Sang, was broadcast as an item in the King’s College Cambridge Carol Service in 2005.

For orchestra, he has had commissioned two overtures, Marinus and Scorpio, and Serenade for Strings. The latter is a worthy representative of the long tradition of British string writing and ends with a sprightly finale.

Dick’s portfolio also includes several concertos; for harpsichord (for Alan Cuckston), recorder (for John Turner, with string quartet accompaniment), piano, clarinet (published in a clarinet and piano reduction in 1999), cello and trumpet. He has also written Serenata Concertante, for two horns and orchestra, and Sinfonia Concertante, for solo woodwind and orchestra (also published with a piano reduction of the accompaniment).

Dick also enjoys writing chamber music. Works include Andromeda, for brass sextet of three trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba or bass trombone; Spring, a woodwind trio for flute, oboe and clarinet; and most recently, Dance Trio, for piano, clarinet and violin.

Dick lives near York. He should not be confused with Richard Blackford (b.1954)