“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, Gramophone Artist of the Year 2018, and the Ambassador for REMA’s Early Music Day 2020. A creative programmer, Rachel is the founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque; she is Principal Guest Director for Tafelmusik for the 24-25 and 25-26 seasons, Artist in Focus at Kings Place for 23-24, is Patron for The Continuo Foundation, and an Ambassador for the Learned Society of Wales. Rachel is the 2023 BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year and Instrumental Award winner for her solo album Tutta Sola.
Rachel continues to broaden her collaborations with orchestras, ensembles, and venues worldwide including at Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, and with Arte dei Suonatori, Philharmonia Baroque, BBC Philharmonic, Academy of Ancient Music and many more. Upcoming collaborations include Handel and Haydn Society, her debut with Budapest Festival Orchestra (Ivan Fischer), and performances at venues including Vienna Konserthaus, BOZAR, and Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Alongside these, as a director and soloist, Rachel has worked with many other collaborators including VOCES8, Robert Hollingworth & I Fagiolini, Robert Levin, Jordon Savall, Christopher Glynn, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Masaaki Suzuki, Armonico Consort, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, San Francisco Early Music, Holland Baroque Society, and Oregon Bach Festival.
Spring ‘23 recording releases on Channel Classics include a 7-CD boxset of her award-winning Vivaldi concertos and a new album of CPE Bach with duo partner Kristian Bezuidenhout. The Goldberg Variations Re-imagined: a new arrangement by Chad Kelly with Brecon Baroque will be released in Autumn ’23. Recent releases include BBC Music Magazine award-winning TuttaSola; world premiere of three previously unfinished Mozart sonatas and Beethoven Sonatas 1, 5, and 10, both with Christopher Glynn: “This selection stands out for its individuality and a characteristic refusal to take the music at face value." (Gramophone); Vivaldi Le Quattro Stagioni with Brecon Baroque and Bach Cello Suites transposed for the violin. According to BBC Music Magazine, the five-star album is “a spellbinding set that is arguably Podger's finest recorded achievement to date…one would naturally assume the suites were violin originals after experiencing her life-enhancing playing." Numerous awards have included two Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Awards for La Stravaganza (2003) and Biber Rosary Sonatas (2016), the Diapason d’Orde 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 featured in The VOCES8 Foundation’s LIVE From London festival in a new advent version of A Guardian Angel, "a sensitive accompanist when called for and displayed nimble fingers in her virtuosic solos” (Wall Street Journal) and alongside I Fagiolini in their Christmas programme Angels and Demons. She performed solo Bach for Gramophone Magazine’s Winners’ Digital Gala, appeared in Bitesize Proms, BOZAR at Home, Living Room Live, Baroque at the Edge, and a collaborative disc by Musicians For Musicians Many Voices on a Theme of Isolation. Rachel presented BBC Radio 3’s Inside Music and directed The Goldberg Variations Reimagined.