Stanley Ritchie


AYO 1957



Stanley Ritchie, a pioneer in the Early Music field in America, was born and educated in Australia, graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1956. His teachers included Florent Hoogstoel and Ernest Llewellyn. In 1957 he was appointed concertmaster of the first Australian Youth Orchestra, and later the same year was Commonwealth winner of the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s Concerto and Vocal Competition. He left Australia in 1958 to pursue his musical education in Paris, where he was a pupil of Jean Fournier, continuing in 1959 to the United States, where he studied with Joseph Fuchs, Oscar Shumsky and Samuel Kissel.

In 1963 he was appointed concertmaster of the New York City Opera, and then served as associate concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera from 1965 to 1970. From 1970 to 1973 he was concertmaster of the Musica Aeterna Orchestra and performed as a member of the New York Chamber Soloists. From 1973 he played as Assistant Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony and was an adjunct lecturer in violin at the University of British Columbia until 1975, when he joined the Philadelphia String Quartet (in residence in the University of Washington in Seattle) as first violinist. In 1982 he accepted his current appointment as professor of violin at Indiana University School of Music.

His interest in Baroque and Classical violin dates from 1970 when he embarked on collaboration with harpsichordist Albert Fuller which led to the founding in 1973 of the Aston Magna summer workshop and festival. He has performed with many prominent musicians in the Early Music field, including Hogwood, Gardiner, Bruegghen, Norrington, Bilson and Bylsma, and was for twenty years a member of The Mozartean Players with fortepianist Steven Lubin and cellist Myron Lutzke. He has appeared as soloist or conductor with a number of major Early Music orchestras, among them the Academy of Ancient Music, Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra.

Recognized as a leading exponent of Baroque and Classical violin playing, he performs, teaches and has lectured in Australia, Germany, Italy, Colombia, China and Greece. Ritchie has served on the jury of the Leipzig International Bach Competition and is a frequent guest at Kloster Michaelstein, in Blankenburg, Germany, where he gives masterclasses in Baroque and Classical technique and interpretation. He has been a faculty member of the Accademia di Musica Antica in Bruneck (Südtirol) since 2000, and served for ten years as Artistic Director of the Bloomington Early Music Festival.

In June 2009 he received Early Music America’s highest award, the Howard Mayer Brown Award for Lifetime Achievement in Early Music.

His recordings include Vivaldi's Op.11 Violin Concertos with Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music (Oiseau Lyre); the Mozart piano quartets and the complete piano trios of Mozart and Schubert as a member of The Mozartean Players, and a CD of 17th Century music for three violins and continuo entitled Three Parts upon a Ground, with John Holloway, Andrew Manze, Nigel North and John Toll, all for Harmonia Mundi USA; selected Concerti and Serenate of Francesco Antonio Bonporti, with Bloomington Baroque (Dorian Discovery); and a reissue on CD of the Bach Sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord with Elisabeth Wright.

His recording of the Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas was released in January 2014 and has garnered glowing critical praise. His book entitled Before the Chinrest – a Violinist’s Guide to the Mysteries of Pre-Chinrest Technique and Style was published by Indiana University Press in 2012, and he is currently working on a new volume, this one on the interpretation of Bach’s solo Sonatas and Partitas.

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