“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.
Following an exciting and innovative new collaboration, A Guardian Angel, with the ‘impeccable’ (Gramophone) vocal ensemble VOCES8, Rachel is thrilled to be one of the Artists in Residence at the renowned Wigmore Hall throughout the 2019/2020 season. The series features Rachel in all-Bach performances as a soloist and with Brecon Baroque.
Alongside this, Rachel and Christopher Glynn join forces for the first time in recordings and performances of the Beethoven sonatas, and the world premiere recording and performances of three previously unfinished Mozart sonatas which have been completed by Royal Academy of Music Professor Timothy Jones.
Upcoming engagements include a return to Philharmonia Baroque, a collaboration with Academy of Ancient Music, and further performances of Bach Cello Suites and A Guardian Angel.
As a director and soloist, Rachel has enjoyed countless collaborations including with Robert Levin, Jordi Savall, Masaaki Suzuki, Kristian Bezuidenhout, VOCES8, Robert Hollingworth & I Fagiolini, European Union Baroque Orchestra, English Concert, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Holland Baroque Society, Tafelmusik (Toronto), the Handel and Haydn Society, Berkeley Early Music, and Oregon Bach Festival.
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 and Brecon Baroque released the highly anticipated album, Vivaldi Le Quattro Stagioni, on Channel Classics in 2018. “It’s colourful, vivid and dramatic … with a fluidity of phrasing and ease of spontaneity and ornamentation” (Record Review). Bach Cello Suites transposed for the violin was released in April 2019. 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.”
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. Rachel Podger is managed worldwide by Percius.