British conductor Richard James Bradshaw was born in Rugby, UK on 26 April 1944. He studied English at the University of London and conducting with Adrian Boult. He worked with Boult, Groves and Pritchard, and conducted at Glyndebourne, San Francisco Opera and Santa Fe Opera, as well as in the Far East, Germany and Holland, becoming a conductor of international repute.
He began working with the Canadian Opera Company from 1988, initially as a guest conductor. He became the organisation's general director in 1998, and was one of Canada's most outspoken and fearless advocates for the arts, fighting tirelessly for the recognition of opera as a living art form.
He organised the building of a new opera house for COC, and his programming included Bluebeard's Castle, Erwartung, Jenufa and Salomé.
Richard Bradshaw collapsed and died suddenly at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday 15 August 2007, aged sixty-three.
'In our sorrow, we pay tribute to the inspiration and leadership he played in the cultural landscape of his adopted country,' said David Ferguson, President of the COC Board. 'We are grieving and we will miss him terribly.'