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.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
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

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND DARTFORD

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND SWALE

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

Geography Teacher, full time supply role, Thanet Academy

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: The School Randstad are proud to...

Science Teacher, full time supply role, Thanet Academy

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: The School Randstad are proud to...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week