Richard Simpson studied at The Royal College of Music with the late Sydney Sutcliffe, and on leaving was appointed by Pierre Boulez to the position of sub-principal oboe with the BBC Symphony Orchestra – a position he held for just one year, before being invited to join the Hallé Orchestra as Principal Oboe. He spent eighteen years with that orchestra and during that time had the opportunity of performing concerti by Mozart, Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Martinu and Hummel to critical acclaim.
In 1991 he returned to the BBC Symphony Orchestra, this time as Principal Oboe, a position he still holds, as well as being involved in various chamber music activities connected with the orchestra. He is a member of the Syrinx Trio, with Michael Cox, Principal Flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and his wife Janet. He is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His recordings include the oboe music of Thomas Pitfield, Benjamin Britten’s Metamorphoses after Ovid, the Rubbra oboe sonata, and (on the Divine Art label) Sir John Manduell’s Double Concerto for oboe and cor anglais.