Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger
Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance. Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods...


RACHEL PODGER Baroque Violin / Director

Instrument: Pesarinius Genoa, 1739

Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance. Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods and holds numerous recordings to her name, ranging from early seventeenth century music to Mozart and Haydn. She was educated in Germany and in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Takeno and Micaela Comberti.

After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium, she was leader of The English Concert from 1997 to 2002. In 2004 Rachel began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, recording Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante with violist Pavlo Beznosiuk, as well as 2 Haydn Violin Concertos. She plays a Stradivari violin on this recording which was generously loaned by the Royal Academy of Music. Other highlights in this collaboration have been concert tours in Europe and the USA and a televised concert at the BBC Proms in 2007. Over the years Rachel has enjoyed numerous collaborations as guest director and soloist with orchestras all over the world; projects special to her have been those with Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica and Santa Fe Pro Musica (USA), the Academy of Ancient Music, the European Union Baroque Orchestra, Holland Baroque Society and the Handel & Haydn Society (USA). 2012 sees Rachel guest directing in Canada, with Arion in Montreal and Tafelmusik in Toronto, as well as curating a Bach Festival in Tokyo, performing the six solo Sonatas & Partitas and the violin concertos with Brecon Baroque.

Rachel records exclusively for Channel Classics; her highly acclaimed interpretations of J.S.Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin and his Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord (with Trevor Pinnock) were both awarded first place by the BBC's "Building a Library" programme. The Solo Sonatas and Partitas received much attention over the 14 years since their release, including no 1 on Amazon, Critic's Choice of the Year and 10/10 from Compact Disc. Rachel's recording of Telemann's Twelve Fantasies for Solo Violin won the prestigious Diapason d'Or and her 2003 recording of Vivaldi's 12 violin concertos "La Stravaganza" also received the Diapason d'Or as well as winning the 2003 Gramophone Award for Best Baroque Instrumental recording. Her Duo with harpsichordist and forte pianist Gary Cooper not only enjoyed success through their award winning complete Mozart Sonatas recording project (2004-2009) but also through their diverse concert tours of the USA, Far East and Europe. These recordings received numerous accolades, including Gramophone's Editor's Choice and the Diapason d'Or.

After the Mozart series Rachel returned to Bach with her own ensemble Brecon Baroque, recording Bach's Violin Concertos. Released in October 2010 to outstanding reviews and much attention in the press, this recording has been hailed as a benchmark version of this repertoire. Later this year Brecon Baroque will record a disc of Bach's Double and Triple Concertos and future plans include Bach's Art of Fugue as well as the Mozart Violin Concertos. Increasingly in demand on the concert platform, Brecon Baroque will play at various festivals in the UK this year as well as in Germany, Ireland and Poland.

In 2006 Rachel became artistic director of her own annual festival, the Brecon Baroque Festival, a four-day event which goes from strength to strength, featuring concerts by Brecon Baroque and the Brecon Baroque Festival Orchestra, as well as the annual Baroque Ball. For more information see breconbeaconsmusic.com.

Teaching is a significant part of Rachel's musical life. She teaches at various institutions: the Royal Academy of Music, London, where she holds the Michaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin (founded in 2008) and an honorary membership and at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she holds the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin as well as an honorary membership. Invitations for master classes keep her busy whilst on tour; she has coached students at The Juilliard School of Music in New York, McGill University in Montreal, New England Conservatory in Boston, Harvard, as well as many establishments in Europe. She is Visiting Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen and teaches at her own annual summer course in Brecon, Wales.



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