Praised as “Britain’s finest period violinist” (BBC Music Magazine), Rachel Podger has injected new life into the Baroque tradition. Her affinity for the Baroque began at an early age when she sought more from her modern studies and followed her curiosity to begin mastering the Baroque violin. She went on to co-found the period group Palladian Ensemble, was an early member of Floriegium, led The English Concert from 1997 to 2002, and in 2018, was named Gramophone’s ‘Artist of the Year.’ Rachel Podger’s passion for Baroque masterpieces shines through lifting the beauty of these works and the skill of their composers to the forefront.
“there is probably no more inspirational musician working today” — Gramophone
Rachel Podger, violin
Bach Suite No. 2 for Solo Cello in D Minor, BWV 1008 (transposed into A Minor for violin) Tartini Sonata in B Minor Matteis Four Movements Biber Passacaglia in G Minor for Solo Violin ‘Guardian Angel’ Bach Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin in D Minor, BWV 1004
“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 and is the 2018 Gramophone Artist of the Year. A creative programmer, she is the founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque.
After an exciting year with an innovative new collaboration, A Guardian Angel, with the ‘impeccable’ (Gramophone) vocal ensemble VOCES8, Rachel will be one of the Artists in Residence at the renowned Wigmore Hall throughout the 2019/2020 season featuring a collection of all-Bach performances with Brecon Baroque. Alongside this, Rachel and Christopher Glynn will join forces for the first time in a recording and performances of Beethoven sonatas. Further treats include a return to the Edinburgh International Festival (Biber Rosary Sonatas), Vivaldi Four Seasons, and Bach Dynasty with Brecon Baroque and mezzo-soprano Ciara Hendrick, tours of A Guardian Angel with VOCES8, performances of Bach Cello Suites transposed for violin, and two Vivaldi tours with the Orchestra of Age Enlightenment in East Asia and Luthers Bach Ensemble in the Netherlands.
As a director and soloist, Rachel has enjoyed countless collaborations including Robert Levin, Jordi Savall, Masaaki Suzuki, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Tapiola Sinfonietta, 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), and within the USA the Berwick Academy, the Handel and Haydn Society, Berkeley Early Music, Oregon Bach Festival, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
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 will be released in April 2019.
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.