He started playing the piano at six; at seven he was composing. After initial encouragement from Arthur Benjamin and Benjamin Britten, he studied under Lennox Berkeley at the Royal Academy of Music. After winning the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 1962, he studied under Nadia Boulanger in Paris. After that he became a notable actor in films TV stage etc. He also was a Professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music for 26 years. He was a tutor also at that institution and later became the Hon Treasurer and a Founder member of the Royal Academy of Music Guild. Stoker is also an Associate of the Royal College of Music and a Founder member of the Atlantic Council.
Stoker has declared the piano to be his favourite instrument, with the guitar a close second. He has produced a number of pieces for both instruments. Among his other works are operas, a piano concerto, three string quartets, three piano trios, song cycles, choral works, orchestral works and organ music. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, and is a former editor of Composer magazine.
Stoker is also an actor and film actor—he has appeared in over 100 films worldwide.
Stoker is also a writer of fiction: he has published two novels, short stories and poetry, and has also written three plays. He has also exhibited drawings and paintings.
- Richard Stoker at International Who's Who in Popular Music
- Music Web International pages on Stoker by John France (April 2004), accessed 8 February 2010
- Townend, Richard (1968): 'Richard Stoker' The Musical Times, Vol. 109, No. 1503 (May, 1968), pp. 424–426