Although I’m never happier than when exploring Taiwan and other regions of the world, my first love is music, and I’m a classical pianist by profession, teaching in Taipei and giving piano recitals once or twice a year: mainly in Taipei city, although also once in London.

While Off the Beaten Track (the title of my blog) was intended to describe my tastes as a hiker and traveller, it also perfectly describes the kind of music I like to play and perform – wonderful but unfairly neglected piano music (mostly from the late 19th and the first half of the 20th Century). I’ve attached a list of repertoire below, mostly for my own convenience when trying to conceive new programs and choose new music to add, although hopefully most of the music won’t be so obscure that no-one knows it!

Below is my ‘official’ music bio, which covers the basics of my musical education:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARICHARD SAUNDERS began his piano studies at the age of seven, and studied at the Royal College of Music and London College of Music. He was the first ever second-year student at the London College of Music to perform a complete lunchtime concert at the college, and during his time there won several awards and medals, including the John McCabe Prize. He graduated from the London College of Music in 1988 with the college’s top qualification, the FLCM (fellowship) diploma and has lived in Taipei since 1993.

Richard Saunders has performed regularly as a piano recitalist and accompanist (for singers and a wide variety of instrumnetalists) in Taipei in venues such as the National Recital Hall, Forum Auditorium, Zhongshan Hall and Mazur Hall. His musical interests are wide and varied, but with a particular interest in lesser-known twentieth-century British, French, and Spanish music. Upcoming plans include the first complete performance in Taiwan of Godowsky’s monumental Java Suite.


French Connections Poster 05__11__26___concert________Z Impressions of Russian Recital poster spanish_songs_f Richard Saunders-090513-A3 Poster1-page-001 Richard poster Richars poster 2015a-page-001

Unfortunately I didn’t make recordings to preserve most of my past recitals, but two performances from the last five years or so did make it onto permanent form, and I’ve uploaded them on YouTube. Unfortunately, they weren’t recorded professionally, so some pieces are cut off in full flow, and continue (a few seconds later) at the start of another file…


PUBLICLY PERFORMED REPERTOIRE (most chamber music and song accompaniments not included ):

ALBENIZ: Evocation, El Puerto, Rondena, Almeria, Triana, El Albaicin, Jerez (Iberia)

                   Espana (suite, complete)

                   Rapsodia Espagnola (piano solo version)



BARBER: Four Excursions

BAX: Mediterranean

BEACH, AMY: Three Pieces, op. 128

                           The Hermit Thrush: two pieces op. 92

BEETHOVEN: 32 Variations in C minor

                           Piano Sonata op. 81a (Les Adieux)

                            Various piano Sonatas

BORODIN: Scherzo


                              Etudes op. 15 nos 4 and 8

                              Novelles Etudes op. XXXX (Le Poete)

                              Diana (Nocturne) and Eros (Impromptu) from op. XXX

BRAHMS: Clarinet Trio

BRIDGE: Gargoyle, A Dedication

Piano Sonata

Rosemary and Valse Capricieuse

Three Impromptus for the left hand: no. 1

BUSONI: Turandots Frauengemach (Elegies)

CHABRIER: Idyll, Impromptu, Danse, Menuet Pompeux, Scherzo Valse (Pieces Pittoresques)

CHAMINADE, Cecile: Ondine, Les Sylphs

CHAUSSON: Quelques Danses

CHOPIN: Ballade no. 4

                 Scherzo no. 4

                  Etudes op. 10 nos 5, 8, 10 and 12

                   Etudes op. 25 nos 1 and 8



                     Impromptus 2 and 3

COPLAND: Our Town (piano version)

DEBUSSY: Reflets dans l’eau (Images I)

FALLA: Three Danses (Three Cornered Hat)

               Pieces Espagnoles nos 2,3

FAURE: Ballade op. 16 (solo piano version)

                Barcarolles nos 1,2,3 and 6

                Nocturnes nos 1,4 and 13

                Impromptus nos 2,3

FOULDS, John: April, England

GODOWSKY: Java Suite (complete)

GRAINGER: Scotch Strathspey and Reel

GRANDADOS: Allegro de Concierto

                           Fandango de Candil (Goyescas)

                            Spanish Dances nos 7,8

GRIFFES, Charles: Roman Sketches nos 1,3 and 4

                   Piano Sonata

HAHN: Orient Suite (Rossignol Eperdu)

HALFFTER, Ernesto: Pregun (Cuba), Danza de la Pastora

HOVHANESS: Two Ghazals

IBERT: Histoires (complete)

IRELAND, John: Decorations nos 1 and 2


                    Legend (with orchestra)

IVES: The Alcotts (Concerd Sonata)

LESCHETIZKY: Barcarolle (Ballade Venetiene)

LISZT: Ricordanza (Transcendental Etues)

             Feux Follets (Transcendental Etudes)

             Tarantelle (Venezia et Napoli)

             La Leggiereza (Concert Etude)

             Au Bord d’une Source, Lac du Wallenstadt, Eclogue (Annees de Pelerinage)

             Petrach Sonnet 104 (Annees de Pelerinage II)

              Benediction de Dieu dans la Solitude

MADETOJA, Leevi: The Garden of Death suite

MEDINS, Janis: Dainas 6, 7 and 14

MEDTNER: Fairytale Sonata

Contes op. 26 no. 1, Primavera

MOERAN, E.J: On a May Morning, Stalham River

MOMPOU: Cancion et Danca nos 1 and 6

MOZART: Rondo in A minor

POULENC: Three Novelettes

                    Soirees de Nazelles

                    Suite in C


Trois Pieces

                     Barbar the Little Elephant

PROKOFIEV: Piano Sonata no. 3

              Masks, Montagues and Capulets, Dance of the Young Girls with the Lilies (Romeo and Juliet)

RACHMANINOV: Lilacs, Daisies, Preludes op. 23 nos. 4, 5, 6 and 7

                                 The Bumble Bee 

RAITIO, Vaino: Four Color Poems

RAMEAU: Les Cyclopes, La Poule, 

RAVEL: Sonatine

                Ondine (Gaspard de la Nuit)

                Pavane Pour une Enfant Defunte

                Jeux d’eaux

                 Noctuelles, Oiseaux Tristes (Miroires)

RESPIGHI: Notturno

RODRIGO: Zarabanda Lejana

SAINT SAENS: Bourree (Etudes for the left hand)

SCARLATTI: Various sonatas

SCHUBERT: Impromptu in B flat

SCHUMANN: Kindezscenen

SCOTT, Cyril: Lotus Land, Rainbow Trout

SCRIABIN: Prelude and Nocturne for the left hand

SEVERAC, Deodat de: Baigneuses au Soleil

                                          Cerdana (complete suite)

                                          Valse Romantique (En Vacences)

                                          Les Dryads et la Faune Indescret

SMETANA: Slepicka, Sousedska (Bohemian Dancesbook 2)

SZYMANNOWSKI: Tantris the Clown (Masques, no. 2)

TAKEMITSU, Toru: Rain Tree Sketch (first version)


TCHEREPNIN, Alexander: Homage to China (Concert Etude, op,. 52 no. 3)

TURINA: Danzas Fantasticas (piano solo version)

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lake in the Mountains

VILLA LOBOS: Choros no. 5 (Alma Brasiliera)