Angela Richey was born in Edinburgh and introduced to the violin 'accidentally' when she discovered one hidden underneath a cabinet at her grandmothers house.
In 1949 she went to the Royal Academy of Music in London 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. After graduation at the age of 23 she joined the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was their youngest member, but left in 1957 for a further years training in Siena, Italy.
From there she freelanced widely in the West Midlands playing regularly with Orchestra Camerata, the Delphos Ensemble and the Element String Quartet.
In 1967 she founded the Richey String Quartet with Dennis Avery, Peter Bridle and Kathleen Walker, but continued to freelance with the Boyd Neel, Sadlers Wells, Stratford-on-Avon Theatre Orchestra, the Birmingham Bach Society as well as attending engagements in BBC Radio with the Midland Light and Midland Radio Orchestras.
Angela was a passionate and dedicated teacher, teaching at various schools in Birmingham, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. She remained open to new technical ideas all her career, tirelessly supporting the West Midlands branch of ESTA (the European String Teachers Association) before her death in 2009. She founded Volante Strings in 1999 with Megan Webb.
Like most of her Welsh primary school class, Megan Webb received violin lessons as a matter of course; indeed free group lessons continued to Grade 8 level. The encouragement of music in those days led to a plethora of excellent school and county orchestras culminating in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. Megan read music at Exeter University, studying violin with Colin Sawyer of the Dartington String Quartet, leading the university Orchestra and studying composition with Nicholas Maw.
Three happy and adventurous years studying African music at the University of Ghana followed, where her husband had a lecturing post in the Maths department, the violin being replaced by drums, xylophone and one-string fiddle.
A move to Worcestershire and the sudden appearance of a family (3 children under the age of 5!) led to a revived interest in the violin - teaching, working with the elderly and performing. Megan met Angela after moving to Abberley, the start of a life-long friendship, and was fortunate to be invited to play in her quartet on occasion. With a wealth of musical friends in the area they formed Volante Strings in 1999, having great fun along the way.
Megan now spends much of her week teaching violin, viola and cello but makes sure there’s plenty of time left for playing both chamber music and folk music.