He graduated with the highest marks at the Conservatory of Milan with Franco Campioni.
He took part in several leading performances with the leading Italian contemporary music ensembles, collaborating with composers such as Luciano Berio, Helmut Lachenmann, Mauricio Kagel, Stefano Gervasoni, Salvatore Sciarrino, Alessandro Solbiati, Michael Daugherty, Marc Mellits, soloists at important festivals (Venice Biennale, MiTo, Cervantino ...). He has performed concerts throughout Europe, Asia, Mexico and South America.
Numerous compositions are dedicated to him, among others, by David Anzaghi, Liza Lim, Carlo Boccadoro, Rossano Pinelli, Nicola Campogrande. He is also active in the field of ancient and baroque music, collaborating with the most important Italian groups (Concerto Italiana, , Zefiro, Modo Antiquo, Ghislieri Consort,Il Pomo d’Oro, Ensemble Pian e Forte, Academia Montis Regalis, Venice Baroque Orchestra. ..).
He has recorded for DG, Sony, EMI, Decca, Naïve, Stradivarius, RaiTrade. Since 2011 he is a timpanist of Camerata Ducale and since 2013 of the Torino Philharmonic Orchestra.
He is a teacher of percussion instruments at the Conservatory of Turin, where he has taught national and international contests winners.
Riccardo Balbinutti plays on Adams Percussion instruments.