Richard Brooks was appointed conductor of the Norwalk Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra in 1998.
Mr. Brooks has been conducting professionally for over 30 years. He began his music education with violin lessons at the age of 8 and graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a degree in Violin Performance. Mr. Brooks was Music Director of the Danbury Community Orchestra from 1981-2001 and was named Music Director of the Cheshire Symphony Orchestra in 1987, a position he still retains.
Mr. Brooks' guest conducting credits include the All-Putnam County and the All- Westchester County Orchestras in New York, the Fairfield County String Festival, The CMEA All-Eastern Middle School Orchestra, The Charles Ives Center's 1999 Young Peoples Concert with the Jupiter Symphony Strings, and the Danbury Symphony.
A dedicated music educator, Mr. Brooks is on the adjunct music faculties of the Wooster School in Danbury and The Gunnery in Washington. He also teaches violin to a select group of private students. Mr. Brooks directed the Danbury Summer String Program from 1978-2001 and was a co-founding director of the Western Connecticut State University Summer String Camp until 2007. Mr. Brooks was also director of the string ensemble at Brookfield High School from 1983-1986 and was a music composition coach for New Fairfield High School's Gifted and Talented program in 1985. He currently is on staff for the Summer Violin Audition Prep Program, a program he co-founded in 2009 and which has expanded to include viola and cello.
As a performer, Mr. Brooks has been active in both jazz and classical music. He has free-lanced with many orchestras, including the Montovani Orchestra, and in ensembles accompanying performers such as Dave Brubeck, Igor Kipnis, The McGuire Sisters, and Paul Winter. Mr. Brooks was a co-founding member of the eclectic instrumental ensemble Solstice from 1977-1987 and led his own jazz-fusion group at the New Haven Jazz Festival in 1989. He released CD albums of his own music in 1992 and 1998 and has been heard on NPR's Echoes radio program. Mr. Brooks has also arranged and recorded string tracks for several pop and rock artists' CD projects.