In the decade of the 1990s Richard Egarr's career as a harpsichordist quickly developed, and he began to get attention as a conductor.
As a boy he was a chorister at York Minster, a position that included complete musical training. He learned piano and organ, studying both at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester from age 13. He earned his diploma in organ playing at 16 and became an organ scholar at Manchester Cathedral, then at Clare College Oxford. The position of organ scholar -- there are generally two at any one time -- is part of the tradition of university chapel choirs in the major British universities. An organ scholar receives a full scholarship to the College and participates in daily services with the College chapel choir throughout the academic year.
Egarr began playing harpsichord while at Oxford, and gained his bachelor of music degree in harpsichord in 1986. He pursued studies in that instrument with David Roblou at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and in private studies with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam, the later on a scholarship from the Dutch government.
In 1988 he entered the International C.P.E. Bach Fortepiano-Clavichord-Harpsichord Competition in Hamburg, Germany, winning first prize. He began appearing as a harpsichord soloist and in 1991 became the harpsichordist of London Baroque, one of the leading early music ensembles. He held that position until 1995, then became director of the Academy of the Begijnhof, Amsterdam.
He appears regularly in leading music festivals in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. He has begun conducting the Hanover Band, appearing with it live on BBC Radio 3 from the 1999 Warwick Festival, and in an all-Bach program at the Dieppe Early Music Festival, also in 1999.
EMI Records promoted his developing career by releasing a recording on its Debut series of lower-cost releases by new artists. His recording of the complete keyboard works of Froberger (the first ever) has been received with wide critical praise. Egarr also paired up with violinist Andrew Manze to record Handel's violin sonatas and a disc of Bach harpsichord concertos. He was also named music director of the Academy of Ancient Music for the 2006-2007 season and associate artist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2011.