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Faculty Profiles: Richards, Van Karl

This guide provides information on Bethune-Cookman University faculty, including their research interests, accomplishments and activities, and brief biographical details.

Karl Van Richards

Brief Biographical Sketch

Mr. Karl Van Richards serves as the Assistant Director of Choirs/Collaborative Artist, Concert Chorale and an Adjunct Instructor of Class Piano at Bethune Cookman University. He made his orchestral debut playing the Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor after winning the Victoria M. Griffith Concerto Competition in 2000 at age 17. Since then, he has performed concertos by Liszt, Weber, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff, and as soloist or orchestral pianist with the University of Miami Symphony, the Coral Gables Symphony, the Greater Palm Beach Philharmonia, Lynn University Wind Ensemble, the Klezmer Company Orchestra, and the Boca Sinfonia. His previous experiences include serving as an Associate Minister at St. Paul AME Church in Miami; Minister of Music at Allen Chapel AME Church in Daytona Beach; Collaborative Artist to the National Association of Negro Musicians; the Young Singers of Palm Beach; the Miami Oratorio Society; and the Ebony Chorale of the Palm Beaches.
Mr. Richards travels and performs as a recitalist and piano collaborator. His performances and collaborations have taken him to halls, theaters, museums in the U.S., the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand, his native Jamaica, and a castle in Austria. Mr. Richards debuted the American premiere of Andrzej Dobrowolski’s Muzyka Na Tasme Magnetofonowa I Fortepiano Solo in collaboration with the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U.S. and has performed on various occasions for National Public Radio. His masterclass performances include Rebecca Penneys (Eastman School of Music), John Perry (USC Thornton School of Music), John Nakamatsu (Van Cliburn Laureate), Howard Aibel (Juilliard School), Nicola Frisardi and Jerome Kern (Mozarteum) and as masterclass clinician he has taught masterclasses at Texas A&M University, Indiana University, Florida Memorial University, University of North Carolina, and Alcorn University.
Mr. Richards holds a Master of Music from Lynn University where he studied under the direction of Dr. Roberta Rust and received an Outstanding Performer’s Award at graduation and a Bachelor of Music from University of Miami where he studied with Ivan Davis which includes summer studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He is a recipient of Certificates of Distinction from the Royal Schools of Music, London, England and is a proud and active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Mr. Richards also has a Master of Divinity degree from Payne Theological Seminary and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Christian Worship at Liberty University.