Music Director

Richard Chiarappa is the founding music director of the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra. He was formerly the music director of the Bristol Symphony Orchestra from 1991-2002.

Mr. Chiarappa studied orchestral conducting with Vytautus Marijosius, choral conducting with Gerald Mack and composition with Arnold Franchetti at the Hartt School. He has done advanced study in conducting workshops under the guidance of Maestros Gustav Meier and Raymond Harvey.

As a composer, his one-act opera, The Miraculous Staircase, was recently published in June, 2013, and is available on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon. Prior works are “Uncle Sal’s Cello” for orchestra and narrator (premiered in 2011); “The Gettysburg Address” for orchestra and narrator published by Robert Wendel Music (NYC); a commissioned work by the Noah Webster House Museum of West Hartford titled “Noah’s National Language” for orchestra, chorus, narrator and actor, and the novelty piece “Romp for Symphony Orchestra and “˜Celebrity’ Triangulist” (Robert Wendel Music). All works have been premiered by the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra. “Romp” or “Gettysburg” has been performed by the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Cape Cod SO, the Rockford SO, the Manassas SO, the Richmond SO, the Southern Illinois SO, the Gulf Coast SO, and the Pacific SO. His historical musical, Lincoln and Booth, is also available on CD Baby, iTunes and All of Chiarappa’s concert works for symphony orchestra are available for purchase or rental.

In 2001 Mr. Chiarappa founded the internet business, “,” intended to promote new works in musical theatre internationally. His show, “Brandenburgh,” a musical farce based on a Mark Twain short story, was named a semi-finalist in the McLaren Comedy Play Writing Competition in Texas. Another work in musical theatre was a collaboration with playwright, Terry Ortwein, on the “cult” musical farce, “I was a Teenage Werewolf for the Third Reich.” A musical geared for high schools entitled “Hoop,” co-written with his wife, Martha, is published by Eldridge Plays & Musicals in Tallahassee, Florida.

Since 1979 Mr. Chiarappa has been a faculty member of Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, where he is director of the KO String Orchestra program and musical director of the annual school musical. He has also been musical director/pianist of the Madison Beach Club’s annual “Follies” since 1981.  Mr. Chiarappa is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild, MENC, and CMEA, as well as the League of American Orchestras and Conductors Guild.  He resides with his wife in West Hartford, Conn. They have two grown daughters and three grandchildren.