C. Kathleen Riddick OBE
C. Kathleen Riddick OBE, 1907 - 5 February 1973
Extract from: A History of Ashtead
- Mother of Susan Bixley
- Kathleen Riddick studied at the Guildhall School of Music (which later became the Guildhall School of Music & Drama)
and at the Salzburg Mozarteum
- Founder and conductor of the Surrey String Players in 1932, which expanded to become the Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra in 1945.
In the 1930s she conducted the London Women's String Orchestra (later to become the Riddick String Orchestra),
In 1958 she re-launched what was known as The Wednesday Night Orchestra and later to become the Leatherhead Orchestra
In 1961 she received the OBE for her services to music.
- Kathleen Riddick founder of the Surrey Philharmonic Orchestra, lived in Ashtead for much of her life after studying at the Guildhall School of Music.
The orchestra, which she founded in 1932 as the Surrey String Players, steadily flourished, and guest conductors included Vaughan Williams and Sir Arthur Bliss.
In 1951 the Surrey Phil, as it was affectionately known, played in the newly opened Royal Festival Hall in London and Kathleen Riddick became the first woman to conduct an orchestra there.