François Richard was raised in Beloeil, QC, a suburb of Montreal. At age 10 he had the honour of studying with renowned classical flute masters Jean-Pierre Rampal and Gail Grimstead. He then continued his studies in both flute and piano at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal. In 1976 he founded, with vibraphonist Jean Vanasse, the Orchestre Sympathique. The group toured internationally, performing at some of the world's leading jazz festivals including Paris, Brussels, Detroit, Aarthus and Montreal. He has collaborated on several film soundtracks, most notably the Juno-awarded "Les Bon Débarras" with Bernard Buisson. He received five Prix Opus nominations in Quebec for his self-produced concerts (CMFR), and is the leader of several ensembles, including the Nouvel Orchestra, who's eponymous CD was listed among the top 10 jazz CDs of 2008 in La Presse. Over the last few years Nouvel Orchestra has toured throughout France and Quebec, and performed at the famed Dizzy's Club at Lincoln Center in New York City.
During his long career, François has performed with such renowned musicians as Don Alias, Gary Bartz, Jaco Pastorius, Michel Donato, David Binney, Mark Feldman, Sylvain Beuf and Claude Garden. He regularly performed for Radio-Canada (international) programs, including Jazz Beat and Jazz sur le Vif. François teaches Pop-Jazz flute at L'Université de Sherbrooke and l'Université du Québec à Montréal. In 2015 the album Azimuth is nominated in ADISQ GALA in the category Album of the year Instrumental.