Durrant was born in Hollingbury, Brighton. By the time he attended the Royal College of Music, he was an experienced performer with a growing reputation. The fact that he spent much of his college career singing Bob Dylan songs in London's tube stations hinted that this musician was unlikely to follow a conventional route through the profession. Indeed, following his debut recital at the South Bank, London in 1986, Richard turned sharply left and pursued his diverse interests in electro/acoustic music, improvisation, composition and multi-media. These interests led to Richard's high-achieving career, noteworthy as much for its display of versatility as this musician's tendency towards perfectionism.
Since Durrant's debut performance in 1986, he has performed throughout Europe as a soloist. He now tours a solo show billed as 'Richard Durrant - The Guitar Whisperer'. The show uses projections of specially commissioned, short films which work as occasional backdrops in this multi-media entertainment which is built around a classical guitar recital. Durrant usually also includes his striking interpretations of music by J.S Bach on ‘wrong' instruments such as banjo and ukulele. In recent years he has visited The Hawth Theatre in Crawley, Norwich Playhouse, The Stables Wavendon, Brighton Dome, BBC Proms Celebration in Trafalgar Square, The Royal Albert Hall (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Bedford Prom in the Park, Epsom Playhouse, Birmingham Conservatoire, The De La Warr Pavilion, and the New Wolsey, Ipswich. Festival performances include Sidmouth, Adur, International Guitar Festival of Great Britain, Chichester, Brighton and concerts in Denmark, Belgium & Switzerland.
He was chairman of the Adur Festival for many years until his resignation in 2005. He is still closely involved with the arts scene in West Sussex especially since the opening of The Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham by Sea, which he helps programme also acting as advisor to the trust. He is a passionate supporter of community arts projects and is a regular visitor to local schools wherever he is performing. In October 2002, as recognition of his work promoting art in the community, Richard was presented with a Daily Mail Golden Jubilee Award by HRH The Prince of Wales. Richard has played many concerts with the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Hanover Orchestra, BBC Midlands Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he continues to perform regularly.
In May 2011 Richard was invited to launch his latest solo album in Paraguay and, whilst there, in recognition of his services as a champion of Agustín Barrios Mangoré, Durrant was officially proclaimed an Illustrious Visitor to Asuncion. He will be returning to South America for more concerts in 2012. The album 'The Number 26 Bus to Paraguay' (LongMan056CD) has received critical acclaim and his follow-up album has been eagerly anticipated.