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Rachel Podger

Biography

Rachel Podger, Baroque violinist, is known for her highly accurate, virtuosic playing, outstanding musicianship and understanding of period style, and a cheerful, warm and decidedly non-stuffy stage presence.

Her father was British and her mother German. She was educated in Germany at a Rudolf Steiner school and studied violin. When she returned to England she continued violin studies with David Perry, then was admitted to the Guildhall
Read more School of Music and Drama with Pauline Scott and David Takeno as her teachers. She asked to be allowed to study Baroque violin as well as the standard violin with modern set-up, but was told the only Baroque fiddle was already given out to another student. In addition, as she says, "It wasn't really the thing to do in your first year. You were supposed to establish your technique."

Rachel did not let this stop her. "So I got hold of an instrument and did it anyway." She surreptitiously took Baroque violin lessons with Micaela Coberti at the Guildhall.and often visited Cambridge where her brother, the singer Julian Podger, had founded a small ensemble called Trinity Baroque and gave her a chance to play some of the central Baroque repertory. From her second year on she continued to study with Coberti, "legally, as it were," she says. Her attraction to the Baroque instrument, she says, is the sonority of the gut strings, but she also says that the lighter, curved bow, which requires one to lift the bow and strike the strings, is more sensitive and more quickly exposes tiredness or stiffness, which is also true of the left hand fingering, typically played without vibrato.

At some point she realized she wanted to be a soloist, that she did not want to be part of a group of violinists in an orchestra (at least not on a back bench), an experience she was frequently encountering even while still at Guildhall as the word got out about her talents and skills.

With three friends, she started playing chamber music regularly and had unexpected success. "We didn't realize we were a group until we won a competition" she says of the group, which is called the Palladium Ensemble. It is a group with a unique sound since its bass part is played not by a harpsichord and cello, but by viola da gamba (Susanne Henrich is the gambist) or by one of a number of directly plucked instruments such as guitar, theorbo, or archlute, by William Carter. This gives the group a distinctive, oddly folk or country music sound. Palladium records on the Linn Records label of Scotland. In addition, she was one of the original members of Florilegium, a larger chamber ensemble specializing in seventeenth- to early nineteenth-century music.

Palladium and Podger as a soloist soon appeared on major stages in Europe. In 1996, Palladium Ensemble was a headliner in the prestigious international concert series Rising Stars, winning a standing ovation when it appeared in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Since then it has appeared in many European cities and festival sites, as well as in North and South America. It also frequently gives radio concerts.

In 1997, Podger was appointed Concertmaster (or "Leader") of The English Concert, one of London's leading period instruments orchestras, and played solo with it on many stops on its tour of Eastern Asia. She has a solo recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas on the Channel Classics label.

Rachel Podger plays a 1739 instrument made by the Genoese luthier Pesarinius. Read less
Bach: Solo & Double Violin Concertos / Manze, Podger, AAM
Release Date: 04/13/1999   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 2907155   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 45 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mozart: Complete Sonatas For Keyboard And Violin
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 6414 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Rachel Podger,  Gary Cooper
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  • 2.
    Perla Barocca: Early Italian Masterpieces
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 36014 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Fontana,  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Marco Uccellini,  Dario Castello  ... 
    Performer:  Organ] Marcin [Harpsichord Swiatkiewicz,  Rachel Podger,  Daniele Caminiti
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  • 3.
    L'Oiseau-Lyre - The Baroque Era
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002072902 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  William Boyce,  John Blow,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Catherine Bott,  Libby Crabtree,  Michael George,  Emma Kirkby  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Philip Pickett,  Joshua Rifkin,  Christophe Rousset  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Westminster Abbey School Choristers Choir,  New London Consort Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Guardian Angel - Biber, Bach, Tartini & Pisendel / Rachel Podger
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 35513 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicola Matteis,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Johann Georg Pisendel,  Heinrich Ignaz Biber  ... 
    Performer:  Rachel Podger
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  • 5.
    J.S. Bach: Double & Triple Concertos / Podger, Bellamy, Pramsohler, Brecon Baroque
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 34113 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Rachel Podger,  Bojan Cicic,  Alexandra Bellamy,  Johannes Pramsohler
    Conductor:  Rachel Podger
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  • 6.
    Rachel - The Music I Love /  Rachel Podger
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 6212 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Rachel Podger,  Gary Cooper,  Jane Rogers,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pavlo Beznosiuk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arte Dei Suonatori,  Holland Baroque Society,  Brecon Baroque  ... 
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  • 7.
    All-Baroque Box (From Monteverdi To Bach) [50-CD Limited Edition]
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001719702 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Harvey,  Stephen Varcoe,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Paul McCreesh,  Marc Minkowski,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Gabrieli Consort  ... 
    CD: $179.99
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  • 8.
    Vivaldi: La Cetra / Podger, Holland Baroque Society
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 33412 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Rachel Podger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holland Baroque Society
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  • 9.
    Mozart: Duos For Violin & Viola K423, K424, Menuetto K487, Haydn: Duos 1 & 2 / Podger, Rodgers
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 32411 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Michael Haydn
    Performer:  Rachel Podger,  Jane Rodgers
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  • 10.
    Mozart: Complete Sonatas, Vol. 3 / Podger, Cooper
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 23606 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Rachel Podger,  Gary Cooper
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  • 11.
    Bach: Violin Concertos / Podger, Brecon Baroque
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 30910 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Rachel Podger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brecon Baroque
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  • 12.
    Super Artists On Super Audio Vol. 6
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 5509 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeanne-Louise Farrenc,  John Dowland,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Christoph Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Emily Beynon,  Matthew Wadsworth,  Gary Cooper,  Rachel Podger  ... 
    Conductor:  Jos van Veldhoven,  Jurjen Hempel,  Kirill Petrenko,  Iván Fischer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Bach Society,  Sinfonia Cracovia,  Meridian Arts Ensemble  ... 
    SuperAudio CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    Mozart: Sonatas For Keyboard & Violin Vol 7 & 8 / Podger, Cooper
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 28109 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Rachel Podger,  Gary Cooper
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  • 14.
    Purcell Edition IV: Instrumental Music / Harnoncourt, Leonhardt, Gardiner, Hogwood, Baumont
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4691390 Release Date: 06/29/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Nigel Rogers,  Max van Egmond,  James Bowman,  Gustav Leonhardt  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Leonhardt,  Sir David Willcocks,  Frans Brüggen,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leonhardt Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Brüggen Consort  ... 
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  • 15.
    Purcell: Sonatas Of 3 Parts, 1683 / Beznosiuk, Coin, Et Al
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 444449 Release Date: 05/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Pavlo Beznosiuk,  Christophe Coin,  Christopher Hogwood,  Rachel Podger
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  • 16.
    Bach: Brandenburg Concertos / Pickett, New London Consort
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 440675 Release Date: 03/17/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  David Roblou,  Daniel Yeadon,  David Watkin,  Richard Tunnicliffe  ... 
    Conductor:  Philip Pickett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Consort
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  • 17.
    Mozart: Complete Violin Sonatas Vol 6 / Rachel Podger, Gary Cooper
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 26208 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Gary Cooper,  Rachel Podger
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  • 18.
    Super Artists On Super Audio Vol 5
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 5108 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Dejan Lazic,  Johannette Zomer,  Paolo Giacometti,  Pieter Wispelwey  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Florilegium Ensemble,  Carducci String Quartet  ... 
    SuperAudio CD: $14.99
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  • 19.
    A Choice Collection - Held By The Ears / Palladian Ensemble
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 324 Release Date: 08/01/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Matthew Locke,  Nicola Matteis,  Thomas Baltzar,  Anonymous  ... 
    Performer:  Susanne Heinrich,  Rachel Podger,  Pamela Thorby,  William Carter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Palladian Ensemble
    CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    [the Versailles Collection] - The Sun King's Paradise & Les Elemens / Palladian Ensemble
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 323 Release Date: 08/01/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Marin Marais,  Jean-Féry Rebel,  Estienne Le Moine
    Performer:  Susanne Heinrich,  William Carter,  Rachel Podger,  Pamela Thorby
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Palladian Ensemble
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  • 21.
    Mozart: Complete Sonatas For Keyboard And Violin Vol 5 / Gary Cooper, Rachel Podger
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 25608 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Rachel Podger,  Gary Cooper
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  • 22.
    Spanish Gypsies - Celtic & Spanish Music In Shakespeare's England
    Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 77516 Release Date: 02/06/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Johnson,  Anonymous,  John Playford,  Giles Farnaby  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Metzler,  Lee Santana,  Steve Player,  Andrew Lawrence-King  ... 
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  • 23.
    Christmas Mass in Rome - Palestrina, Josquin / McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 437833 Release Date: 10/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Palestrina,  Josquin Des Préz,  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Tomás Luis de Victoria  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Roberts,  Paula Chateauneuf,  Hannelore Devaere,  Jeremy West  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Gabrieli Players
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  • 24.
    Haydn: Cello Concertos, Symphony No 104 / Wispelwey, Et Al
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 6007 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Pieter Wispelwey,  Ashley Solomon,  Anna McDonald,  Rachel Byrt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florilegium Ensemble
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  • 25.
    Handel, Bach, Vivaldi: Concerti / Academy Of Ancient Music
    Label: Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Pavlo Beznosiuk,  Rachel Podger,  Frank De Bruine
    Conductor:  Pavlo Beznosiuk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
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