Photography

Richard A DiAdamo

September 6, 1944 ~ January 24, 2022 (age 77)

Obituary

Richard A. DiAdamo “Richie and Mr. D”

On January 24, Richard (age 77), most beloved husband of Catherine (Judeikis) passed away peacefully at home in her loving care.  Together, they courageously battled his extensive cancers since 2007.

Son of the late Alfred and Madeline Adams and brother of the late Barbara Adams, Richard is survived by his brother Charlie (Louise) Adams, brother-in-law Joseph (Marylee) Judeikis, and sister-in-law Louise Judeikis.  He is also loved by many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended relatives, lifelong friends, colleagues, and former violin students.  He was a compassionate, caring, wonderful man who was an inspiration to all who knew him and he will be greatly missed.

Richard loved life and enjoyed playing the violin and mandolin, gardening, polishing his classic cars, drawing and painting, building a whimsical Lionel model train village, playing with his pets, and talking to his dear friends and family. Even though battling many cancers, brain tumors - and most recently, blindness, he found stimulation, fascination, and beauty in his every day.   

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, Richard was a violinist with the world-renowned Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) for 38 years. At eight years old he began studying the violin. His parents, recognizing his burgeoning talent, sought the private tutelage of Armand DiCamillo, violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Richard was concertmaster of the All-Philadelphia Senior High School Orchestra. Richard was also a member of the first violin section of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.

At Eastman he pursued a double major, earning a Bachelor of Music Degree with Distinction in Violin Performance and Music Education. Richard did his student teaching at Nazareth Academy in Rochester, New York. As a student he played with the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra. In his junior year he was offered a position to play in the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. In his senior year, Richard was invited to play with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, where he remained for three years. After graduation from Eastman in 1966, Richard taught at the Taos School of Music in New Mexico, and performed in the faculty string quartet for two consecutive summers.

In 1968, Richard won a position in the first violin section with the PSO. Embarking on a new career and a new life, Richard Adams wanted to change his name back to the family name of “DiAdamo”. He became Richard Alfred DiAdamo, which not only sounded more musical than Adams but honored his grandparents and his heritage.

Richard’s early years in Pittsburgh were highlighted by several accomplishments in addition to his orchestral position. He founded the “Amati String Trio”, which subsequently went on to win the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition in 1981. Richard performed in various chamber music groups around the city of Pittsburgh. Richard was also the founder of “Trio Con Brio”, which was just one of several enjoyable collaborations with fellow PSO colleagues. Richard served as concertmaster of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra from 1993 to 1999 and appeared annually as soloist.

The outstanding moments of Richard’s career in the PSO were numerous and varied. During Richard’s distinguished career, he and the other members of the PSO were cultural ambassadors around the world, earning a distinguished global reputation. They won accolades wherever they appeared and were hailed as one of the finest American Orchestras. One of the most exciting, memorable, and historic concerts was when the PSO was honored to be the first United States orchestra to perform for a Pope. In honor of Pope John Paul II’s Silver Jubilee, in 2004, a “Concert of Reconciliation” for Christians, Jews, and Muslims was held at the Vatican concert hall. During the PSO summer seasons, Richard played at several music festivals such as Wolftrap and Tanglewood. The orchestra also held residencies at Great Woods in Massachusetts and for ten years at the Temple University Music Festival in Ambler, Pennsylvania. Richard and his fellow musicians made numerous recordings one of which, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, won a Grammy in 1992.

Just as Richard’s maestros influenced him, he influenced numerous students by coaching the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras (TRYPO), coaching the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO), and teaching and founding the strings program at Washington & Jefferson College. These students became successes in their chosen fields and include some professional violinists. While their paths in life may differ, they all share a love of music and the discipline to meet life’s challenges as instilled by their dedicated caring instructor. Richard said he likes to leave things behind. His legacy, above all, is the positive impact he had on others and the impact they will have on the people they meet. This legacy, like our love for him, will never end.

Richard was inducted into the South Philadelphia High School Cultural Hall of Fame in 2015.

Fortunately, and thanks to Jim Cunningham of WQED-FM, we can treasure listening to Richard reminisce about his career on their recent “At the Symphony” podcast at

Family and friends will be received Friday from 2-8 PM at Paul Henney Cremation & Funeral Tributes, 5570 Library Rd., Bethel Park. Per the family requests, the wearing of masks would be greatly appreciated.  Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Saturday, 10 AM at Our Lady of Hope Parish/St. Valentine Church, Bethel Park.  Burial will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Services

Visitation
Friday
January 28, 2022

2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Paul Henney Cremation & Funeral Tributes
5570 Library Rd.
Bethel Park, PA 15102

Funeral Mass
Saturday
January 29, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Valentine

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