About Me

(NB: Though I’m still developing this site, I’m very much available for work. You can contact me here).

I’m a freelance writer based in Lichfield, Staffordshire, specialising in classical music. I write concert programme notes on all areas of repertoire, for all audiences, for print or digital platforms, and to any word-count and deadline. I’m also one of the UK’s leading classical music advertising copywriters – and pride myself on helping to sell the most challenging programmes to the widest possible audiences. I’m deputy music critic of The Birmingham Post, write regularly for Gramophone and The Spectator and for many years was the principal classical music writer for all of Metro’s non-London editions. My book Forward: 100 Years of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra was published on 14 November 2019 by Elliott and Thompson.

As a former orchestral cellist and latterly a concerts manager with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, I understand the special requirements of (and pressures upon) professional concert promoters – I’m comfortable writing in any style, for any audience, to the tightest of deadlines, and I’m not precious about cutting or rewrites. And above all, I believe in communicating the excitement, pleasure and uniqueness of the live concert experience – from chamber music (a special enthusiasm of mine) to the full orchestral, choral and operatic repertoire, right through to contemporary classical music, light music, film scores, operetta and Broadway.

My clients include the Salzburg Festival, The Barbican, the Royal Opera House, Aldeburgh Festival, London Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Chandos Records, Warner Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Seoul Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and many more. You might have seen my work in The Spectator, Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, The Arts Desk or concert programmes for Anne Sophie Mutter, Juan Diego Florez, Ute Lemper, Jacqui Dankworth, Philip Glass, the Mariinsky Theatre Chorus, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela or the Coull Quartet  I’d be delighted to work with you too – please call me or drop me a line at richard.bratby@gmail.com.