One of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance over the last decade, Rachel Podger has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods. She was educated in Germany and in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she studied with David Takeno and Michaela Comberti.
After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium – both groups she helped create - she was leader of The English Concert from 1997 to 2002 and toured throughout the world, often as concerto soloist. In 2004 Rachel began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, opening with concerts of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos in the USA. Rachel is in demand as a guest director and has enjoyed collaborations with Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica (USA), Santa Fe Pro Musica (USA), The Academy of Ancient Music and The European Union Baroque Orchestra. As a recitalist Rachel enjoys a busy career; she gives solo concerts across the globe, notably in North America, Western Europe, Korea and Japan.
Rachel’s first solo recordings (Channel Classics Records), of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, were released in 1999 to great critical acclaim. These discs were followed by Bach’s Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord with Trevor Pinnock. Both recordings were awarded first place by the BBC’s ‘Building a Library’ programme. Rachel’s recording of Telemann’s Twelve Fantasies for Solo Violin won the prestigious Diapason d’Or and was listed in the BBC Music Magazine’s ‘top 20’ classical CDs of 2002. Her Channel Classics’s 2003 recording of Vivaldi’s 12 violin concertos ‘La Stravaganza’ also received the Diapason d’Or and was awarded the 2003 Gramophone Award for Best Baroque Instrumental recording. In 2004 she embarked on a recording of the complete Mozart Sonatas with fortepianist Gary Cooper and Volumes 1 and 2 have already enjoyed critical acclaim including a Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’ and a Diapason d’Or.