Steven Rickards is the founder and President of Echoing Air, Inc. He has received international acclaim as one of America’s finest countertenors of his generation. His varied career spans music from the medieval period to the present day. Rickards has appeared domestically and internationally with many organizations in the performance of Baroque works. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in Handel’s Messiah with the Oratorio Society of New York. Rickards has also performed with other leading ensembles including the American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, the Folger Consort, the Gabrieli Consort, the New London Consort, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the baroque orchestras of Indianapolis, Seattle, and Portland.His career has included membership in leading proponents of the choral and chamber art, including Chanticleer and Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices. Rickards can be heard on the Chanticleer, Decca, Dorian, Four Winds, Gothic, Harmonia Mundi, Koch, Newport Classics, Smithsonian, and Teldec labels On the Naxos Label he recorded two solo albums of songs by John Dowland and Thomas Campion with lutenist, Dorothy Linell. Rickards is a published composer and an advocate for new music. In his book Twentieth Century Countertenor Repertoire (Scarecrow Press), he championed the creation and collection of contemporary works for the countertenor. It is the only published resource on the subject. His interest in contemporary repertoire has led to his inclusion in the premiere of many chamber and operatic works. He took part in the premiere of John Adams’s oratorio El Niño at the Châtelet Opera in Paris in 2000. Subsequent performances of the work include the Adelaide Symphony, the BBC Philharmonic, the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Malmö Opera, the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic Society, Norske Opera, the San Francisco Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Tokyo Symphony.
Rickards received his undergraduate and masters degrees from Indiana University. A Fulbright-Hays Scholarship and Rotary Grant provided funds for additional study in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His doctorate was conferred by Florida State University. He also serves on the faculties of Butler University, Marian University and the University of Indianapolis. He also teaches for the Historical Performance Institute at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He was a recent recipient of a 2015-2016 Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship presented by the Arts Council of Indianapolis.