Born in New Haven, Connecticut, cellist Lee Richey is primarily a native of North Carolina. He began his musical studies at the age of eight on the violin with his mother, Elaine Richey. At age fourteen, he switched to the cello, beginning studies with former U.N.C. Charlotte Professor of Cello and current director of the Garth-Newell festival, Luca DiCecco.
At the age of seventeen, Mr. Richey entered the high-school division of the North Carolina School of the Arts, continuing there to complete a Bachelor of Music degree with Robert Marsh. After a year of graduate study at the S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook with Bernard Greenhouse, Mr. Richey transferred to Southern Methodist University where he completed his Masters degree with Marion Davies. Further cello studies took him to the University of Southern California where he studied with Eleonore Schoenfeld.
Other teachers, instructors, and mentors have included Channing Robbins, Ronald Leonard, Jennifer Langham, Evelyn Elsing, Bonnie Hampton, Paul Olefsky, Christian Tiemeyer, Nichoas Harsanyi, Anshel Brusilow, Daniel Lewis, Simon Streatfield, Paul Doktor, Anne Epperson, David Richey and John Corigliano.
Mr. Richey has been the principal cellist of the Knoxville Symphony, the Spoleto Festival, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Green Bay Symphony, as well as being the first-runner-up for principal of the Kansas City Symphony. He has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, and Washington and Lee University. He has also been extensively involved in chamber music including performances with his family ensemble, a performance at the Banff Centre with Anto Kuerti, and a project of a series of variety concerts called Not Necessarily the Classics: featuring Claude Bolling's Suite for Cello and Jazz Piano Trio, a composition of his own, "Cloggerfugue: a piece of classical grass!," and standard classical works.
Mr. Richey has also participated in numerous music festivals in the United States and Europe including the Snowbird Summer Arts Institute in Utah, the International Music Program of N.C.S.A., the Bowdoin Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival, and the Colorado Music Festival. He has been on the faculty of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck and the Eastern Music Festival.
He is also the author of Virtuosity in Alternative Cello Performance -- the topic and title of his dissertation -- which is a study of the virtuoso cellists within the medium of non-Western classical performance spanning the years 1940 to the present. The work consists of a history, interviews, and selected excerpts of performances by seven highlighted virtuoso alternative cellists.
He completed his doctorate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May of 1998 with Parry Karp.
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