Richard Ayres was born in Cornwall (Great Britain) in 1965. He followed Morton Feldman's classes at the Darmstadt and Dartington summer schools in 1986, and after this experience decided to make music a full-time occupation. He studied composition at the University of Huddersfield, and postgraduate composition with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, graduating in 1992.
Ayres’ music has been performed by many of the major European contemporary music ensembles, and numerous orchestras. He collaborated with the novelist and poet Lavinia Greenlaw on an opera version of Peter Pan which was premiered by Stuttgart Opera in 2013, and will receive a new production directed by Keith Warner for the Komische Oper Berlin, and the Welsh National Opera. He is currently working on a short orchestra piece commissioned by the BBC and the Donaueschingen Musiktage.