Rachel Podger, violin

Violinist Rachel Podger

“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.  

A significant birthday year for Rachel, 2018 holds an exciting and innovative new collaboration,AGuardian Angel, with world-renowned vocal ensemble VOCES8. Inspired by her BBC Music Magazine Award winning disc and including Biber’s Passacaglia of the same name, Podger’s serene and beguiling virtuosity is the guiding voice in A Guardian Angel amidst choral masterpieces sung by the impeccable’ (Gramophone) VOCES8. The programme includes a new commission by up and coming composer Owain Park and works by Sir James MacMillan and VOCES8 composer in residence Jonathan Dove. Following on from her debut solo performance in Japan, further treats include a CPE Bach concert collaboration with Kristian Bezuidenhout, tours of A Guardian Angel with VOCES8, Vivaldi Four Seasons and Bach Dynasty with Brecon Baroque. The 2018/2019 season will feature performances with Västerås Sinfonietta, Trondheim Barokk, Juilliard415, and an East Asia tour with the Orchestra of the Age Enlightenment alongside a tour of Bach solo Cello Suitestransposed for violin in the Netherlands and performances of Beethoven sonatas in 2020.

As a director and soloist, Rachel has enjoyed countless collaborations including Robert Levin, Jordi Savall, Masaaki Suzuki, Kristian Bezuidenhout, 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 solo Cello Suitestransposed for the violin will be released in 2019.

A dedicated educator, she holds an honorary position at 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. Rachel has a relationship with The Juilliard School in New York where she visits regularly. Rachel Podger is managed worldwide by Percius. www.percius.co.uk