A Very Gifted Manx Lady: The Life of Kathleen Rydings
Kathleen Rydings was born in the mining village of Laxey and was an exceptionally talented young violinist who won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in 1903 to study with Achille Rivarde and Cesar Thomson in Brussels. She formed The Kathleen Rydings Trio who were engaged to provide concerts in a luxurious cafeteria in fashionable Eastbourne. The trio returned to the Island after World War One and were resident in Douglas during the last decade of the ‘silent’ film era.
In 1930, she was appointed conductor of the Manx Amateur Orchestral Society, a post she held for twenty-five years, as well as becoming one of the best-known and influential violin teachers in the Island’s history. Essentially a shy and retiring person, Kathleen eschewed a career as a concert violinist and as such deserves to be honoured as a stalwart of the Island’s musical life.