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Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

IU Professor Stanley Ritchie receives lifetime achievement award

June 17, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Professor Stanley Ritchie was awarded Early Music America's (EMA) Howard Mayer Brown lifetime achievement award June 12 at the 2009 Boston Early Music Festival.

Ritchie is the first Indiana University faculty member to receive a lifetime achievement award from EMA, although one of its annual honors is named for former IU Early Music Institute Director Thomas Binkley.

Stanley Ritchie

Stanley Ritchie

Print-Quality Photo

"I feel humbled because I'm really sharing this honor with the hundreds of young people whom I have taught at Indiana University, the many colleagues in the world of Early Music with whom I have been associated in the past four decades and two very special people who changed the course of my life," said Ritchie. "I have learned so much from all of these people, and, in accepting this award, I am their representative."

Ritchie paid special tribute to Binkley and harpsichordist Albert Fuller.

"Historical performance would be very different in our era without Stanley Ritchie's contribution," said Wendy Gillespie, chair of the IU Department of Early Music.

"His students are everywhere -- throughout the United States but also worldwide, on instruments from violin to cello," Gillespie said. "Stan has a special gift as a musician -- a gift that he is happy to share, wherein lies his genius as a teacher. His unique ability goes way beyond violin technique and historical performance straight to the music, and surely that is the most important thing."

A pioneer in the Early Music field in the United States, Ritchie was born and educated in Australia, graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1956. In 1962, he settled in New York, where he became concertmaster of the New York City Opera in 1963 and associate concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera in 1965.

In 1975, he joined the Philadelphia String Quartet (in residence in the University of Washington in Seattle) with which he played as first violinist and performed in Europe and the Americas, until accepting his appointment as professor of violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 1982.

His interest in Baroque and Classical violin dates from 1970, when he embarked on a collaboration with harpsichordist Albert Fuller which led to the founding, in 1973, of the Aston Magna Festival. In 1974, he joined harpsichordist Elisabeth Wright in forming Duo Geminiani; their recording of the Bach Sonatas for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord earned immediate critical acclaim.

Since then, he has also performed with many other prominent musicians in the Early Music field, including Christopher Hogwood, John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Roger Norrington, Malcolm Bilson and Anner Bylsma. For 20 years, he was a member of The Mozartean Players, with fortepianist Steven Lubin and cellist Myron Lutzke. In 1990, he and Wright inaugurated an Early Music concert series in Bloomington, Ind., and established a not-for-profit organization which, in 2005, become the organizational home of the Bloomington Early Music Festival (BLEMF).

As a faculty member of the Jacobs School of Music's Early Music Institute, he has taught more than a generation of Baroque violinists, violists and cellists, many of whom now have flourishing careers in the Early Music profession. His teaching career has led to pedagogical research, and he is currently working on a method for Baroque and Classical violin.

His recordings include Vivaldi's Op. 11 Violin Concertos with 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, Three Parts upon a Ground, with John Holloway, Andrew Manze, Nigel North and John Toll, all for Harmonia Mundi USA.