Rachel Podger

there is probably no more inspirational musician working today


intoxicating combination of power and grace

Toronto Star (with Tafelmusik)

the queen of the baroque violin

The Sunday Times

Rachel Podger

Baroque violin / Director

"There is probably no more inspirational musician working today than Podger” (Gramophone). Rachel Podger, “the queen of the baroque violin” (Sunday Times), has established herself as a leading interpreter of the Baroque and Classical music periods. She was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize in October 2015. A creative programmer she is the founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque, and was resident artist at Kings Place for their 2016 season Baroque Unwrapped. Rachel celebrates her 50th birthday in 2018 with a much-anticipated recording of Bach cello suites on violin, a recording of Vivaldi Four Seasons, and an exciting and innovative collaboration with world-renowned a cappella group VOCES8, ‘Guardian Angel’. 

Upcoming engagements include a collaboration with Kristian Bezuidenhout with performances in Italy (Padova), Katowice (Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra), Antwerp (AMUZ), Amsterdam (Noorderkerkconcerten), Den Haag, Germany (Kiel), Spain (Seville), Music at Oxford, and Boston Early Music Festival (USA). Additional engagements include an international tour with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Musica Viva, Australia and Europe); Edinburgh International Festival with Brecon Baroque; solo recitals at Eindhoven, Trondheim Barokk, Fundación Juan March (Madrid), Ohrdruf and Weimar (Germany), and Canary Islands; collaborations with I Fagiolini and BBC NOW as well as broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, continued educational work at Juilliard and the Royal Academy of Music, and a residency at Wigmore Hall.

Rachel has enjoyed countless collaborations as director and soloist with orchestras all over the world. Highlights include Robert LevinJordi Savall, Masaaki SuzukiThe Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union Baroque Orchestra, Holland Baroque Society, Tafelmusik (Toronto), The English ConcertThe Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and within the USA the Philharmonia Baroque OrchestraSan Francisco Early MusicBerwick Academy, and the Oregon Bach Festival

Rachel records exclusively for Channel Classics with over 25 discs including the complete Mozart Sonatas. Bach Art of Fugue with Brecon Baroque was released in September 2016 to rave reviews “with playing of this sophistication, the restricted sound palette works wonderfully, supporting a calm, ruminative exploration of the many fugal devices” (The Guardian). Her latest recording with Brecon Baroque, Grandissima Gravita, will be released in 2017.

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), a BBC Music Magazine award in the instrumental category for Guardian Angel (2014), and multiple Diapasons d’Or. The complete Vivaldi L’Estro Armonico concertos was released in 2015 with her own ensemble Brecon Baroque and has received critical acclaim, winning the concerto category of BBC Music Magazine Awards 2016 and was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award (2015). 

She is a dedicated educator and holds an honorary member of both the Royal Academy of Music, where she holds the Micaela Comberti Chair for Baroque Violin (founded in 2008), and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she holds the Jane Hodge Foundation International Chair in Baroque Violin. She also has a developing relationship with The Juilliard School in New York. 

This biography is for information only, and should not be re-printed. Please use the link below to download the version for concert programmes.

Download 2017-18 Biography (.docx)

Download 2017-18 Publicity Photo (.jpg) - Credit: Theresa Pewal