Violinist Barbara Riccardi was born in New York and began her musical training on the piano at age 3, adding the violin soon after. She graduated magna cum laude from Vassar College, where her love of chamber music led her to study with the legendary Guarneri Quartet. Barbara joined the San Francisco Symphony under Seiji Ozawa, and soon after the SF Opera Orchestra, where the inspiration from the great vocal artists was so irresistible that she left her symphony position behind in favor of an opera/chamber music career.
During her 45 years with the Opera, Barbara raised 4 sons and a daughter, served as concertmaster of Festival Opera of Walnut Creek for 10 years and founded the Temescal String Quartet, which performs frequently in the Bay Area. In recent years Barbara has taken on the restoration of abandoned properties in her parents' native Sicily.