A lifetime playing the piano, from pubs to palaces….
Richard Sully started playing the piano at the age of five, encouraged by his dad to pick out tunes be ear. His grandmother encouraged him further and paid for lessons which, over the period of quite a few years, allowed him to learn to read music and understand music theory. However, as is the case with many ‘intuitive’ musicians, practising classical music was never something he greatly enjoyed, preferring instead to figure out how to play modern songs he’d hear every day on the radio. Playing the piano became his ‘party piece’ and with time his repertoire grew to a point where he’d always be asked to play at house parties and school concerts.
At seventeen, he wandered into his local pub and offered his services to play twice weekly in return for an extremely modest fee! It was the landlord’s gamble on hiring a pianist with next to no experience which really helped him on his way to learning new songs from memory and was the starting point of developing the vast repertoire he calls on today. There was nothing quite like a pub crowd shouting out requests to encourage the hasty expansion of his repertoire!
Moving from playing in pubs to hotels during his years at university in Cardiff and London, Rich became resident at South Wales’ ‘Celtic Manor Resort’ at weekends to help financially support himself. He travelled the world upon the completion of his post-graduate studies in London and took up a residency at Adelaide’s Terraces Hotel in Australia in 1990. When he returned to the UK he quickly became involved in the London music scene and could be heard playing at most of the capital’s prestigious venues, culminating in a residency at London’s Savoy which lasted several years. During this time he frequently worked on cruise ships in various parts of the world, his favourite being Swan Hellenic’s ‘Minerva’ which he described as a ‘Five Star English country hotel at sea!’.
Married with three young children, Richard now lives in West Berkshire and takes bookings across the south of England and South Wales as well as the English midlands. For the past fifteen years he has been closely affiliated with Sir Peter Michael’s ‘The Vineyard at Stockcross’ which undoubtedly ranks as one of the finest five star hotels outside London. He can be heard there on weekend nights when he’s not performing at private events. He also supplies other hotels and venues with piano music including Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Highclere Castle near Newbury, Cliveden near Maidenhead, Danesfield House near Marlow, The Roehampton Club in West London and The Lansdowne Club in central London. He has a stable of hand picked pianists and musicians who work alongside him when supplying these venues and also recommends and supplies their services for weddings and private events.