Angela Richey: Inspirational violinist and passionate teacher

The death of the violinist Angela Richey leaves a void in that will be difficult to fill. As a musician she was respected both as a performer and a teacher, but she was also greatly appreciated by her many friends and colleagues as a remarkable human being. She always had time for people and although she was essentially a modest person she was an excellent organiser with a surprising talent for persuasion.

The daughter of J.E. Richey, an eminent Irish geologist, she was born in Edinburgh and educated at George Watson's College in that city. Her introduction to the violin was the accidental discovery of one hidden underneath a cabinet at her grandmother's. "I started to make such a noise they decided to let me take lessons to learn how to play properly," she died.

She made excellent progress from the outset and it was soon clear that she would eventually make it into the profession. In 1949 she went to London and the Royal Academy of Music, where she was a student of the celebrated Frederick Grinke. She won numerous prizes, including the Charles Oldham Scholarship, enabling her to study for a further three years.

On graduating in 1954, she successfully auditioned for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and at 23 was their youngest member. She left in 1957 in order to complete a further year's study at a music academy in Siena, Italy. On her return she became a freelance player in Birmingham, where she performed with a number of chamber music ensembles, including the Element String Quartet and the Delphos Ensemble. It was with the latter that she first participated in BBC broadcasts; she also played regularly with the Orchestra Camerata from its foundation.

She was leader of the Bury St. Edmunds Bach Society Orchestra from 1963-88 but continued to play in her own Richey String Quartet, which she founded in 1967 with Dennis Avery, Peter Bridle and Kathleen Walker. Avery, who played second violin, has happy memories of those times: "We met weekly – gave regular concerts at many different venues and had many intensive holiday sessions in order to concentrate on some very taxing works by Bartok, Ravel and Walton ... Although Angela had a very kind and gentle manner, underneath she had a strong personality which kept the quartet together in both a musical and personal sense."

String-quartet playing did not prevent her from accepting freelance engagements with a number of celebrated orchestras, including the Boyd Neel, Sadlers Wells, Stratford-on-Avon Theatre Orchestra, the Birmingham Bach Society and the BBC Symphony, Midland Light and Midland Radio Orchestras.

In 1999 with Megan Webb she founded the Volante Strings, a small group which performs without a conductor. She gathered string players from all over Worcestershire for the ensemble, which she led and directed. Their new leader, Kathy Holmes, said in her eulogy at Richey's funeral: "Angela was the inspiration behind each performance. Every member of the ensemble fell under the spell of her musical energy and enthusiasm."

Richey was a passionate and dedicated teacher. She remained open to new technical ideas and would spend hours with her colleagues discussing ways of achieving the results. She taught at various schools in Birmingham and Warwickshire, including the Coventry Centre for Performing Arts, King's School, Worcester and the Elgar School of Music, also in Worcester. A tireless supporter of the West Midlands branch of ESTA, (the European String Teachers' Association), Richey will be missed by the members in that area, as practically all their concerts and meetings were held courtesy of Richey and her husband Richard in their beautiful old house in Shelsley Beauchamp in Worcestershire.

Margaret Campbell



Angela Margaret Grace Richey, musician and teacher: born Edinburgh 2 September 1931; married 1959 John Sinfield (died 1973, one daughter), 1975 Richard Haigh; died Shelsley Beauchamp, Worcestershire 11 February 2009.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Asset Finance Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - ASSET FINANCE - An outstanding...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Assistant Marketing & PR Manager

£16 - £17 per hour: Ashdown Group: Marketing & PR Assistant - Kentish Town are...

Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment