Stanley Ritchie, a pioneer in the Early Music field, was born and educated in Australia, graduating from Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1956. After leaving Australia to study in Paris and at Yale University, he moved to New York, where he was appointed concertmaster of New York City Opera in 1963 and, in 1965, Associate Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Resigning from the Met in 1970, he freelanced as concertmaster of the Musica Aeterna Orchestra in New York, then as first violinist of the Philadelphia String Quartet, in residence at the University of Washington, from 1975 to 1981. He joined the faculty of Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 1982, and was promoted to Distinguished Professor in 2016.
His interest in historical performance 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 formed Duo Geminiani with harpsichordist Elisabeth Wright, and performed subsequently with many prominent Early Musicians, including Hogwood, Gardiner, Bruegghen, Norrington, Bilson and Bylsma. He has appeared as soloist or conductor with the Academy of Ancient Music, Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Boston’s Handel and Haydn. He has also served on the Leipzig Bach Competition jury, and given masterclasses in Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Recordings include Vivaldi’s Op.11 Violin Concertos with Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music; the complete piano trios of Mozart and Schubert with The Mozartean Players; a CD of 17th Century music for three violins and continuo with John Holloway, Andrew Manze, Nigel North and John Toll; Bach’s Sonatas for Violin and Obbligato Harpsichord with Elisabeth Wright; and his solo Sonatas and Partitas. He has written two books: Before the Chinrest – A Violinist’s Guide to the Mysteries of Pre-Chinrest Technique and Style, and The Accompaniment in “Unaccompanied” Bach.