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Richard DeTamble is a violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. After his wife, Annette, dies in a car accident when Henry is five, Richard's life becomes meaningless. He becomes an alcoholic, which eventually forces him to give up playing the violin. Although Henry bears no fault in the accident, Richard blames him for Annette's death. He basically hands his young boy to Mrs. Kim to raise. When Henry informs Richard that he's marrying Clare and asks for his mother's engagement and wedding rings, they get into a heated argument, but finally Richard warms up to Henry because he tells his father how often he sees Annette in the past, happy.
Richard very much takes to Clare and, through her and Kimy, father and son begin to mend their relationship. When Alba is born, she turns out to be a musical prodigy. Henry asks Richard to give her violin lessons, which finally instills his father with a new purpose in life.