Rachel Podger

there is probably no more inspirational musician working today


intoxicating combination of power and grace

Toronto Star (with Tafelmusik)

Podger's Bach has always been special: this is indispensable.

BBC Music Magazine

Rachel Podger

Baroque violin / Director

"There is probably no more inspirational musician working today than Podger” (Gramophone). Over the last two decades Rachel Podger has established herself as a leading interpreter 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 Micaela Comberti.

After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble, Florilegium, The English Concert and The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Rachel has enjoyed countless collaborations as guest director and soloist with orchestras all over the world. Highlights include Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), The Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union Baroque Orchestra, Holland Baroque Society, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik (Toronto) and the Handel and Haydn Society (USA). Rachel has also collaborated, toured and recorded extensively with fortepianist Gary Cooper.

Rachel records exclusively for Channel Classics and has won numerous awards including a Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award for La Stravaganza (2003), the Diapason d’Or de l’année in the Baroque Ensemble category for her recording of the La Cetra Vivaldi concertos with Holland Baroque (2012), a BBC Music Magazine award in the instrumental category for Guardian Angel (2014), and multiple Diapasons d’Or. Her most recent release, the complete Vivaldi L’Estro Armonico concertos, was recorded with her own ensemble Brecon Baroque and has received critical acclaim. In Autumn 2015 celebrations for Rachel’s twenty-fifth disc release, Rosary Sonatas: Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, coincided with Channel Classics twenty-fifth anniversary. 

Rachel is founder and Artistic Director of the Brecon Baroque Festival, an annual four-day event bringing top-flight period musicians to the Brecon Beacons. She is 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. In October 2015 Rachel was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize.


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 2015-16 Biography (.docx)

Download 2015-16 Publicity Photo (.jpg) - Credit: Jonas Sacks