The keyboard artistry of Ritchie began at a very young age in a musical family—his father a surgeon/choral conductor and his mother an opera singer. He persistently pushed the envelope of his improvisational skills while being classically trained at the conservatory. He launched his career as a solo keyboard artist in Colorado in the summer of 1985 after an award-winning performance in Estes Park and an appearance at a major youth event in nearby Leadville with over 40,000 in attendance.
His itinerary has taken him to major cities in the US, Canada, Australia, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and Russia. He is one of the few remaining users of the Kurzweil 250, a digital sampling keyboard unmatched in its live performance features even today, making it possible to play several solo and group instruments simultaneously—live—with no pre-recorded tracks. After a performance at Red Rocks Amphitheater one summer, he was dubbed by some as the “human sequencer”.
His music emanates from a passion that he attributes to a Judeo-Christian God that he believes is alive and well in the world and in his life today. He hopes that his music will also strike a sympathetic cord in the listener’s soul. Each theme he writes about finds inspiration in deep spiritual roots, many times embodied in an older work such as a hymn from his childhood. His creative use of different genres such as classical music, jazz, world beat, gospel—to name a few—gives each composition a unique personality.
He composes and orchestrates his music using a library of digital samples that reside on a hard drive on his Mac. The way he describes this process is like using computers to make movies in Hollywood that look so real, like Jurassic Park, except that he does it for sound. Unless otherwise indicated, all the tracks he records are put together by actually performing on the keyboard. The entire process is tedious and yet fun and very rewarding. Much of his experience and discipline comes from working in the industry in Burbank, California with clients such as Walt Disney, Group W, and Cummings Entertainment. Ritchie is the father of four—all gifted on various musical instruments—his oldest a graduate of Berklee College of music. His wife, Lederle, teaches piano, sings and also plays the guitar. Besides doing projects in the studio and performing on stage, he travels across the country tuning pianos. He also leads a congregation as an ordained minister.