Richard Buckley was born in Wales, starting to play through the influence of his grandfather and father. At the age of 12, he entered the Welsh College of Music and Drama (Youth Department), having as teacher Paul Vallis. In the same year, he entered the Wales Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. At 18, he entered the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, studying with Pam Dow (Percussion) and Martin Gibson (Eardrums), where he completed a degree and post-graduate degree in Percussion and Eardrums. During his time in Scotland, he played with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera Orchestra, BBC Scottish Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Halle Orchestra and Glasgow Pops Orchestra, also playing with several contemporary music groups, with James MacMillan and Evelyn Glennie, as well as Early Music formations.
Since 1993, he has been a Musician for the Portuguese Symphonic Orchestra, where he performs the functions of Soloist A. He is also Professor of Percussion at the Superior National Academy of Orchestra and at the Lisbon Superior School of Music. Since he has been in Portugal, he has played with several orchestras, such as the Gulbenkian Orchestra, the Porto Casa da Música Symphony Orchestra and the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, among others.