Rachel Podger, violin

Violinist Rachel Podger

Rachel Podger has established herself as a leading interpreter of baroque and classical music. She was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize in October 2015 and Gramophone Artist of the Year 2018. Podger is the ambassador for Early Music Day 2020. A creative programmer, she is the founder and artistic director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque.

After an exciting year including an innovative new collaboration, A Guardian Angel, with the vocal ensemble VOCES8; performances at festivals and venues across the world including Lincoln Center, La Seine Musicale, and Edinburgh International Festival; and acclaimed album releases including Vivaldi Le Quattro Stagioni and J.S. Bach Cello Suites transposed for the violin (BBC Music Magazine Album of the Month in July), Podger takes up a new post as an artist-in-residence at the renowned Wigmore Hall throughout the 2019/20 season. The series features Podger in all-Bach performances as a soloist, and with Brecon Baroque and Kristian Bezuidenhout. Alongside this, she and pianist 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 Timothy Jones. Further ventures include Bach Dynasty with Brecon Baroque and mezzo-soprano Ciara Hendrick, tours of A Guardian Angel with VOCES8, solo recitals across the world including performances of the Bach cello suites, and return collaborations with orchestras such as Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta.

As a director and soloist, Podger has enjoyed countless collaborations including those with Robert Levin, Jordi Savall, Masaaki Suzuki, Kristian Bezuidenhout, VOCES8, Robert Hollingworth and 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, Oregon Bach Festival, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

Podger 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), and 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). Podger and Brecon Baroque released the highly anticipated album, Vivaldi Le Quattro Stagioni, on Channel Classics in 2018. Bach Cello Suites transposed for the violin was released in April 2019.

A dedicated educator, Podger 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. She 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

This concert marks Rachel Podger’s UChicago Presents debut.