Richard Pine

Richard Pine (born 21 August 1949) is the author of critical works on the Irish playwright Brian Friel and the Anglo-Irish novelist Lawrence Durrell. He worked for the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ Raidió Teilifís Éireann before moving to Greece in 2001 to found the Durrell School of Corfu[1] which he directed until 2010. In 2012, to mark the centenary of the birth of Lawrence Durrell, Pine edited and introduced a previously unpublished novel by Durrell, "Judith".[2][3] He writes regular columns on Greek affairs in Kathimerini and The Irish Times and is also an obituarist for The Guardian. His work on Friel has been described by the writer and critic David Ian Rabey as 'immensely stimulating, courageous and encouraging ...'[4] Lawrence Durrell described Pine's work as 'the best unpacking of my literary baggage I have heard.'[5]

Early life

Richard Pine was born in London on 21 August 1949, the only child of Leslie Pine and his wife Grace (née Griffin). After attending Westminster School (1962–66), he began higher education in Ireland taking a BA in 1971 at Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) and a H.Dip.Ed in 1972, being President and gold medallist of the University Philosophical Society and winner of the Vice-Chancellor's Prize for English.

Career in Ireland

After university, Pine[6] remained in Ireland, joining Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) as Concerts Manager, responsible (among other ensembles) for the Irish National Symphony Orchestra. In 1983 he became a senior editor in RTÉ's Public Affairs Division; a post he held for 16 years. He also wrote and presented many programmes for RTÉ Radio, including a 15-part documentary, "Music, Place and People: the Irish Experience 1740–1940" on RTÉ's classical music channel, Lyric FM.

From 1988 to 1990 Pine was Secretary of the Irish Writers' Union and a music critic[7] for The Irish Times. From 1990 to 1994 he was co-editor of the New York-published Irish Literary Supplement.

Between 1978 and 1988 Pine was a consultant to the Council of Europe on cultural development programmes. A seminal essay on cultural democracy was published by the Finnish Committee of UNESCO in 1982. He has lectured on this at the Cultural Research Centre, Belgrade (Yugoslavia)[8] and at the City University, London.

Pine has held guest lectureships in literature and Irish studies at University of California, Berkeley, Emory (Atlanta), New York University, Georgia Southern, University of Central Florida, Centre for Irish Studies at CUA, Washington, and the Princess Grace Library, Monaco.

In 1989 he was elected a Governor (trustee) of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, which, in 1998, bestowed on him a Fellowship honoris causa. He resigned from the RIAM in 2006.

Since 1978 Pine has been a prolific author of articles and books on Irish theatre and Irish playwrights including Oscar Wilde and Brian Friel. Of Pine's book The Diviner: the Art of Brian Friel, the Nobel poet Seamus Heaney wrote "The particularity of quotation joined with the meditative, associative habit of your mind is the book's strength. It provokes a thoughtful response in return and, as such, will be a welcome addition to the critical reaction to Friel. It should deepen the sense of his complexity and modernity, while rendering a sense of those 'truths, immemorially posited'."[9]

The Newsbrands Ireland Journalism Awards 2018 voted Richard Pine as "Critic of the Year", citing his "great erudition, fine judgement; elegant style."


Continuing his career as a writer, Pine moved, in 2001, to the Ionian Island of Corfu in Greece to found the Durrell School of Corfu (DSC) which, for twelve years, hosted seminars on literature and the protection of the environment. The school aimed to enrich international understanding of the writings of Lawrence Durrell and his brother, the innovative ecologist and zoologist, Gerald Durrell. It closed in 2014 and was succeeded in 2016 by the Durrell Library of Corfu, an online library and website which re-commenced international seminars in 2017. Pine is a frequent guest lecturer at the Ionian University, Corfu. In 2019 he inaugurated the online "C.20 - an international journal" under the aegis of the Durrell Library of Corfu.[10] He continues his association with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland as a writer of concert programme notes.


In 1972 Pine married Melanie Craigen. They have two daughters, Emilie Pine (b. 1977), an essayist and a lecturer in film and drama at University College Dublin and Vanessa Pine (b. 1981), an artist and cookery writer. Pine and Craigen separated in 1983. From 1994 to 2008, Pine's partner was the concert artist and piano professor Patricia Kavanagh. In 2018, Emilie Pine published a memoir Notes to Self which was voted Book of the Year in the Irish Book Awards.[11]



  1. Durrell School of Corfu (DSC)
  2. Published in a limited edition of 500 copies by the Durrell School of Corfu
  3. "The Long View: Beyond the Alexandria Quartet: a 'lost' Lawrence Durrell novel reveals the author's Israel bias", Robert Fisk, Independent, 24 September 2012 'But all praise to Richard Pine and the Durrell School of Corfu, who have now published the first edition of Durrell's novel ...'
  4. David Ian Rabey (Autumn 1991). "Brian Friel and Ireland's Drama". Theatre Research International. 16 (3): 277–278. doi:10.1017/S0307883300015194. 'immensely stimulating, courageous and encouraging'
  5. Lawrence Durrell (1972) "The Poetic Obsession of Dublin." Travel & Leisure 2/4, 33–36 & 69–70
  6. Encyclopaedia of Ireland , ed. Brian Lalor, 'Pine, Richard' by Anthony Roche, p. 874
  7. Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, ed. Harry White and Barra Boydell, 'Pine, Richard' by Elaine Kelly, p. 841
  8. Now the Centre for Study of Cultural Development /Zavod za proučavanje kulturnog razvitka, Belgrade, Serbia
  9. Letter to Richard Pine from Seamus Heaney, dated 5 April 1989
  11. "Parental alcoholism, infertility, drug use, sexual violence - no subject was off limits in Emilie Pine's taboo-shattering essays". Retrieved 4 March 2019.
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