Richard Todd's career has been unparalleled, with work as a concert artist, recording artist, orchestral artist, chamber music artist, jazz artist, studio artist, composer, arranger, master teacher, and published author. He has been featured as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Sydney Opera House, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, among others. A graduate of the University of Southern California, as a student of Waldemar Linder and the legendary Vincent DeRosa, Todd was also a student at the Music Academy of the West and Tanglewood, where he met the great Gunther Schuller, who was later to become his mentor and record producer.
Todd's professional career began at age 21 as a member of the Utah Symphony. At age 22, he became principal horn of the New Orleans Symphony, and at age 24, he won the Medaille d’Or at the Toulon International Competition. Todd then moved back to Los Angeles and began working in the famous LA film studios.
Todd has served as principal horn of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for 35 years, was a performer in many of the world's premier chamber music festivals, and has had dozens of solo appearances with orchestras both in the United States and abroad, including world premieres of Kenneth Fuchs's Canticle To The Sun and Craig Russell's Rhapsody for horn and orchestra. He was also handpicked by Gunther Schuller to record his horn Concerto No. 1 in 1992, as well as the Brahms Horn Trio, which was Schuller's final recording before his death in 2015.
As a jazz artist, Todd's education came from lessons with Ellis Marsalis and listening to every great artist available. He has performed with Clark Terry, Lalo Schifrin, McCoy Tyner, Andre Previn, Terrence Blanchard, Billy Childs, Ray Brown, John Clayton, Shelly Berg, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua, Tom Scott, Billy Pierce, Arturo Sandoval, Ronnie Scott, Marian McPartland, and dozens of others in jazz clubs, concert halls, and jazz festivals.
Todd's studio career has spanned over 35 years and included over 2,000 film and television scores. He has been given screen credit on blockbusters such as Star Trek Into Darkness and Tomorrowland. He was twice commissioned by the LA Chamber Orchestra to compose works for the ensemble, and became the first sitting member of the orchestra to have a composition performed. The work, ceLebrACiOn, premiered on the opening concert of the orchestra's 40th anniversary season.
Todd has served on the faculty at Cal Arts, UCLA, USC, and the University of Indiana Jacobs School of Music. In 2009, Todd joined the Frost School and has grown his studio consistently since his arrival. He has dozens of former students enjoying careers as orchestra performers, freelance artists, studio musicians, artistic administrators, and instructors at major institutions such as UCLA and USC. Todd is a Buffet Artist for Hans Hoyer Horns and is developing his own line of signature mouthpieces with the Osmun Music company.