Violist Richard Crabtree is a highly praised interpreter of both classical and 20th century music for his instrument. In the tradition of many British classical musicians, he has also been tapped to take part in classical-rock or art rock experimentation. In 1994 Crabtree was part of the expanded lineup on the album entitled Life Model by the Blue Aeroplanes, the same year the violist recorded the superb Viola and Piano Music of contemporary composer Arnold Bax.
Crabtree studied both violin and viola at the Trinity College of Music. He has performed in the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players. He has stepped up to the status of principal violist and soloist in groups such as the London Soloists Ensemble, the Wessex Sinfonia, the West of England Philharmonic Orchestra, and the English Baroque Ensemble. The violist has also performed regularly on radio and television broadcasts and is considered a keen booster of contemporary music. These activities are often combined with political charity work as well as travel outside of typical mainstream classical itineraries. Crabtree was the first British musician to perform in several former territories of the U.S.S.R. following the "glasnost" period. He has taught at Clifton College, the Trinity College of Music, and the Welsh College of Music and Drama.