Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Dr. 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 Lee Richey. At age fourteen, he switched to the cello and studied with Luca DiCecco.
He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts with Robert Marsh, his Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University with Marion Davies, and his Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Parry Karp.
His minor concentration for the DMA was Instrumental Conducting where he studied with David E. Becker. He has been a guest conductor with several high school and middle school string orchestras, been a substitute conductor for university/community orchestras, and organized four benefit chamber orchestra concerts. The first two were in Las Vegas, in February, 2012 and May of 2013 for the Musicians Union of Las Vegas’s “Emergency Relief Fund.” The third and fourth were in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, on August 18 and 19, 2017, respectively. The latter two benefit concerts raised donations for the Syrian refugees. In September of 2015, he was appointed co-conductor of the Youth Camerata, a middle school string orchestra of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestras. In September of 2016, he was appointed co-conductor of the Youth Philharmonic of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Orchestras.
He has been the principal cellist of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Green Bay Symphony, and the Fairbanks Symphony. He has also been a member of the Dallas Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet orchestras. He has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville and Washington and Lee University, and was on the full-time faculty for two years as a term professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is now a contract cellist with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of the Mountains. He is also a substitute cellist with the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra Augusta, and the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra.
He lived in Las Vegas from December of 2004 to September of 2012 where he was the Assitant-Principal Cellist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the adjunct cello teacher at the Nevada School of the Arts, the adjunct cello and music appreciation teacher at the College of Southern Nevada, and was the cellist in the orchestra of Phantom, The Las Vegas Spectacular!
Following the closure of the Phantom show in September of 2012, Dr. Richey relocated to his home state of North Carolina. He now lives in Greensboro where he freelances in the southeast, conducts, and teaches at Salem College.