Bach's Mass in B Minor, Miami Bach Society, Fl
Among the vocal soloists,countertenor Steven Rickards was a standout. His unique plaintive vocal timbre and superb musicianship were the essence of great singing.
The Miami Herald- April 27, 2005
Bach's Mass in B Minor, Champaign, IL
In the aria,”Qui sedes ad
dextram Patris, counter-tenor Steven Rickards’agile voice blended beautifully
with the smoky tone of Alison Robuck’s oboe d’amore.”
The News-Gazette-March 23,
Moretti's Vespro, New York City Ballet, New York State Theater, New York, NY
Anyone familiar with the fragmented sounds of the Italian
Avant garde will feel at home. Bruno Moretti, a leading Italian composer and
conductor, has written a fine commissioned score, which he played on stage on a
grand piano. Albert Regni, principal saxophonist with the New York Philharmonic
and the City Ballet, and Steven Rickards, as a splendid countertenor,
contributed to the variety of texture and sudden near-void of notes hanging in
The New York Times-May 10, 2002
Bach's Three Weimar Cantatas, BWV 182, 12, 172 -The Bach Ensemble, Joshua
"This historically informed
performance will certainly please the purists who prefer their cantatas in an
unadulterated form, played on original instruments as though freshly sprung
from the mind of the composer. This performance is spare and delicate rather
than passionate, partly because the cantatas' tight composition leaves little
room for individuality and personal expression. In keeping with their
devotional spirit, the singing is serious, smooth (particularly Rickards's),
Audiophile Audition Classical CD Reviews, September 2001
John Adams's El Niño, Davies Hall, San Francisco, CA
"The Texture of El Niño achieves a new kind of eloquence
for Adams. The almost medieval harmonies assigned to a consort of countertenors
from Paul Hillier's Theatre of Voices—Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings, and Steven
Rickards, all exceptionally mellifluous and wonderfully pristine in projection,
—lends a serene, other-worldly quality to much of the work."
San Francisco Chronicle-January
John Adams's El Niño, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
"A trio of excellent
countertenors —Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings, and Steven Rickards—both narrate
and take part in the in action as the Three Wise Men."
The Times (London)- December 20,
May Festival, Cincinnati, OH
"Adding to the authentic touch was the timbre of
countertenor Steven Rickards, who made an arresting narrator (Historicus). He
performed his recitatives with agility and remarkably pure penetrating
The Cincinnati Enquirer-May 23, 2000
Mater, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Seattle WA
"Rickards' voice is of the same type as the pioneer of
the 20th-century, Alfred Deller, but reaps all the benefits of a
generation later, of Deller's and others research and experience. Rickards
strong straight voice is warm, open, and excellently supported, with no hint of
his predecessor's somewhat hooty quality, and as perfectly on pitch as that of
Seattle Post-Intelligencer- January 26, 1998
my Tears" and other Lute Songs
"This disc is an unalloyed
delight. Steven Rickards’s flexible and limpid voice seems to me just right for
Dowland’s highly expressive songs, and he receives admirable support from
lutenist Dorothy Linell. Nineteen lute songs are interspersed with seven solo
lute pieces. The selection could hardly be better: a good range of the popular
songs, "Come again," "Flow my tears," "Me, me, and none
but me," "Now, oh now" and "Fine knacks for ladies,"
as well as some wonderful songs that aren’t quite so well known: "In
darkness let me dwell," "Come, heavy sleep" and my own
favourite, "Time stands still". Dorothy Linell’s lute solos are, for
the most part, not by Dowland, but include several anonymous pieces, as well as
Francis Cutting’s divisions on Greensleeves.
They do a good job of lightening the predominately dark tone of Dowland’s
songs. Given Naxos’s unbeatable -, I’d say go right out and buy this one!"
Continuo, Magazine June 1998 Vocal
Princeton Pro Musica, Princeton, NJ
"Countertenor Steven Rickards brought crystal-clear
diction, intelligent musicianship, and a lovely pure falsetto tone to his solo
work. He was mesmerizing in all his numbers. His expertise in Baroque
performance was evident in the frequent and sometimes elaborate ornaments he
added to his recitatives and arias."
Town Topics- December 24, 1997
"Four superb soloists contributed to the success of the
presentation. Countertenor Steven Rickards was the most effective. His voice is
a striking instrument, which gave a deeply moving impact to the segments
"He was despised," "O thou that tellest good tidings to
Zion," and "He shall feed his flock." His singing was also
marked by a deep sense of involvement with the texts."
The Times-December 27, 1997
Recital, Rickards Linell Duo, presented by Capriole
"The quality that deserves attention is superbly
Rickards takes words and tunes and fashions them into emotionally meaningful
moments. Inflection and a slight gesture or two, at the hands of such a superb
vocalist, generate degrees of rare visual imagery, sublime and auditory
excitement. The audience seemed to hang on to every word, fully captive to his
lyrical voice, meaningful delivery, and thoroughly delightful commentary."
The Virginia Gazette- February 2, 1997
Bach's Mass in B Minor, The Bach Ensemble, Perth, Australia
"And with unfailing bouyancy
of momentum (and where appropriate, of mood) and gratifying liner and harmonic
clarity, one was exposed more often than not to a euphoric listening
experience, as gratifying as it is rare.
This was especially so in relation to countertenor Steven Rickards, whose
pure-toned account of Qui Sedes was beyond reproach, singing in which the
soloist took up an interpretative stance at the emotional epicentre of the
Western Australian-March 3, 1997
Bach's Mass in B Minor, Dayton Bach Society, OH
"The clouds opened and the
angels sang, however, whenever countertenor Steven Rickards opened his mouth.
"Glorious" was the word most often heard afterward."
Dayton Daily News-May 12, 1996
Dallas Bach Society, Dallas, TX
"But what made the music seem to rise to a new
dimension were the performances of Ms. Turocy, as Terpsichore, and Steven
Rickards, the countertenor who sang in the register alto castrato. Mr. Rickards
made a magnificent Apollo-panniered, plumed, powdered and glittering in gold.
His rich serene voice perfectly matched his outrageous exterior. With one hand
on an orb and the other floating in the air at his chest, he bobbled sweetly on
golden heels and opened his mouth to float exquisitely modeled sounds.
The Dallas Morning News- September 29, 1996
Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Dayton Bach Society, OH
"Countertenor Steven Rickards performed the alto part with an expressiveness that defied earthly bounds,"
Dayton Daily News- October 28, 1996
Williamsburg Baroque Music Festival, Capriole,
"Gayle Johnson, director of the festival, led Capriole
in "Odes to Life and Death," pieces written by Purcell for Queen
Mary's birthdays and at her death. Countertenors Derek Lee Ragin and Steven
Rickards excelled in florid songs and duets. The small group of instruments
provided support and contrast. John Blow's Ode
on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell was a fitting close to the program, the
sections of which displayed Capriol's multiple talents and were an appropriate
reflection of Purcell's own many-sided musical personality."
Early Music America-Winter 1995
Apollo's Fire, Cleveland, OH
"In place of a female alto, countertenor Steven
Rickards made a splendid impression, affording the coloratura passages plenty
of dramatic punch (and none of the hootines sometimes associated with this
voice type) as well as tenderness when Handel becomes reflective."
The Plain Dealer-December 10, 1995
An Afternoon With
Mr. Henry Purcell, Ensemble Ouabache, Indianapolis, IN
"Ensemble Ouabache got the jump on composer anniversary
celebrations for 1995 with a charming program called An Afternoon With Mr. Henry Purcell….
This celebration was in expert hands here: Ensemble Ouabache
has cultivated the field of Baroque music for many years, and its guest, Steven
Rickards is among today's most accomplished artists in his voice category–the
countertenor, or male alto…
The singer displayed his impeccable technique in the florid
long lines of Purcell's Sweeter Than
Roses. And his fine diction helped convey the meaning of the slightly
risqué Scots air Cold and Raw, a hit
with Queen Mary."
Indianapolis Star-January 16, 1995
Bach's Mass in B
Minor, The Bach Ensemble, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York, NY
"Rickards revealed a dulcet, flexible instrument in his
"Qui Sedes," with Stephen Hammer on oboe d'amore, and a melting
New York Native-August 8, 1994
Duet Recital with Derek Lee Ragin, Capriole,
"The concert was highlighted by the presence of two of
the most outstanding countertenors in the music world, Derek Lee Ragin and
Steven Rickards. Combined with Capriole's outstanding instrumentalists and
unerring sense of musical right, the program was as fine as you could
The Virginia Gazette-March 13, 1993
Bach's Mass in B
Minor, The Bach Ensemble, New York, NY
"The glories of the performance were two of the
soloists…Steven Rickards, whose "Agnus Dei" acted as a reproach to
the inflexible character of the performance."
The New York Times-April 3, 1993
Psalms, Virginia Symphony, Norfolk, VA:
" The only truly embracing moment came from the brief
but beautiful contribution made by Steven Rickards, guest countertenor, in the
Psalm 23 section. Given his pure focused tone and delivery, it's not surprising
that his acclaim is international. His participation in this program was a
The Virginia Gazette-September 27,1992
Bach's Cantata BWV 185, Basically Bach, Chicago, IL:
"With his pleasing timbre, clarity of projection and
keen response to the words and music, Rickards again impressed as one of the
ablest countertenors around."
Chicago Tribune-March 30, 1992