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Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger


“Rachel Podger, the unsurpassed British glory of the baroque violin,” (The Times) has established herself as a leading interpreter of the Baroque and Classical. She was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize in October 2015, Gramophone Artist of the Year 2018, and the Ambassador for REMA’s Early Music Day 2020. A creative programmer, Rachel is the founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque. Rachel is Patron for The Continuo Foundation and an Ambassador for the Learned Society of Wales.

Following her residency at the renowned Wigmore Hall, Rachel continues to widen the breadth of her artistry collaborating with orchestras and ensembles worldwide including most recently the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, and Philharmonia Baroque. Upcoming engagements include Tafelmusik, Salamanca Baroque, Luthers Bach Ensemble, Handel and Haydn Society, Montana Baroque, Tesserae Baroque, Library of Congress, and a residency in 23/24. Alongside these, as a director and soloist, Rachel has worked with many other collaborators including VOCES8, Robert Hollingworth & I Fagiolini, Robert Levin, Jordon Savall, Christopher Glynn, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Masaaki Suzuki, Armonico Consort, Orchestra of the Age Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, San Francisco Early Music, Holland Baroque Society, and Oregon Bach Festival.

Upcoming recording releases on Channel Classics include Tutta Sola: solo repertoire featuring JS Bach, Johann Paul von Westhoff, Johan Helmich Roman, Geminiani and Vilsmayr, CPE Bach with Kristian Bezuidenhout, and The Goldberg Variations Re-imagined: a new arrangement by Chad Kelly with Brecon Baroque. Recent releases with Christopher Glynn include the world premiere of three previously unfinished Mozart sonatas which were completed by Royal Academy of Music Professor Timothy Jones and Beethoven Sonatas 1, 5, and 10: “This selection stands out for its individuality and a characteristic refusal to take the music at face value.” (Gramophone). Past releases include Vivaldi Le Quattro Stagioni with Brecon Baroque and Bach Cello Suites transposed for the violin. According to BBC Music Magazine, the five-star album is “a spellbinding set that is arguably Podger’s finest recorded achievement to date…one would naturally assume the suites were violin originals after experiencing her life-enhancing playing.” Rachel has won numerous awards including two Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Awards for La Stravaganza (2003) and Biber Rosary Sonatas (2016), the Diapason d’Or de l’année in the Baroque Ensemble category for her recording of the La Cetra Vivaldi concertos (2012), two BBC Music Magazine awards in the instrumental category for Guardian Angel (2014) and the concerto category for the complete Vivaldi L’Estro Armonico concertos (2016).

Rachel featured in The VOCES8 Foundation’s LIVE From London festival in a new advent version of A Guardian Angel, “a sensitive accompanist when called for and displayed nimble fingers in her virtuosic solos” (Wall Street Journal) and alongside I Fagiolini in their Christmas programme Angels and Demons. She performed solo Bach for Gramophone Magazine’s Winners’ Digital Gala, appeared in Bitesize Proms, BOZAR at Home, Living Room Live, Baroque at the Edge, and a collaborative disc by Musicians For Musicians Many Voices on a Theme of Isolation. Rachel presented BBC Radio 3’s Inside Music and directed The Goldberg Variations Reimagined.

A dedicated educator, she holds the Micaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin (founded in 2008) at the Royal Academy of Music and the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Rachel has a relationship with The Juilliard School in New York where she visits regularly.