François Richard was born October 9, 1956. His father is a photographer and his mother a musician. François Richard inherited of a sound musical education. At the age of 10, he had the privilege to be tutored by the great master of classical music Jean-Pierre Rampal, and his student from the Conservatoire de Paris, Gail Grimstead. In 1970 he studied flute with professor Jean-Paul Major and piano at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal.
In his early twenties, he founded L'Orchestre Sympathique with Jean Vanasse, vibraphonist, and obtained the Premier Prix du Conseil canadien de la musique - First Prize at the Canadian Music Council. Acclaimed by critics, the group made several international tours, appeared in radio programs (SRC) and television, produced one video (Spectel) at Théâtre Saint-Denis and three recordings, two of which were recorded respectively during the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Jazz from Detroit (Montreux-Detroit International Jazz Festival). With L'OS he played flute and piano and had the privilege to share the stage with well known jazz musicians such as Oscar Peterson, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins and McCoy Tyner. At that time, he composed some music for films, namely Les Bons Débarras by Francis Mankievicz, film-maker and winner of several prizes.