An “intoxicating combination of power and grace.” - Toronto Star
Internationally renowned Baroque violinist Rachel Podger gives her only solo recital in New York this season, performing selections from her album Guardian Angel, which won a BBC Music Magazine Award in 2014. Podger, who has been recording and performing Bach’s music for over two decades, became the tenth, and first female, winner of the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize in February 2015. The program includes her own transcription of J.S. Bach’s Partita for Flute in A minor.
J.S. Bach: Partita for Flute in A minor BWV 1013 (trans. for violin by R. Podger)
G. Tartini: Sonata in B minor, No.13, B:h1
H. von Biber: Passacaglia in G minor ( The Guardian Angel ) from Mystery Sonatas
J.S. Bach: Partita in D minor BWV 1004
Leadership support for music programming in 2015 provided by the J.C. Flowers Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation.
Rachel Podger is one of the most creative talents to emerge in the field of period performance. Over the last two decades she has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of the Baroque and Classical periods. She was educated in Germany and in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with David Takeno and Micaela Comberti.
After beginnings with The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium, she was leader of The English Concert from 1997 to 2002 and in 2004 began a guest directorship with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with whom she appeared in a televised BBC Prom in 2007. As a guest director and soloist she has collaborated with numerous orchestras including Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica and Santa Fe Pro Musica (USA), The Academy of Ancient Music, The European Union Baroque Orchestra, Holland Baroque Society and the Handel and Haydn Society (USA). Podger has toured and recorded extensively with fortepianist Gary Cooper.
Podger records exclusively for Channel Classics and has won numerous prestigious awards, including Diapasons d’Or (Telemann’s Twelve Fantasies for Solo Violin; Vivaldi’s 12 violin concertos, La Stravaganza) and a Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award for La Stravaganza in 2003. Additionally, her highly acclaimed interpretations of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin and his Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord (with Trevor Pinnock) were both awarded first place by the BBC's Building a Library program. In 2012 Podger won the Diapason d’Or de l’année in the Baroque Ensemble category for her recording of the La Cetra Vivaldi concertos with Holland Baroque and in 2014 she won a BBC Music Magazine award in the instrumental category for Guardian Angel, a solo disc of Biber, Bach, Pisendel and Tartini. Podger has also released Perla Barocca, a disc of 17th century Italian violin music with harpsichordist Marcin Świątkiewicz and lutenist Daniele Caminiti.
Podger directs her own ensemble, Brecon Baroque, with which she has recorded Bach’s Violin Concertos (2010), and Bach’s Double and Triple Concertos, released in May 2013 to widespread critical acclaim. The group’s 2015 release is Vivaldi’s L'Estro Armonico Concertos, which was named Record of the Month in both BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone Magazine and has been awarded a Diapason d’Or. She is also Artistic Director of her own festival: the Brecon Baroque Festival. Podger is an honorary member of 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 and teaches at institutions throughout the world. Future engagements include international tours with the Royal Academy of Music and Juilliard415 orchestras under Masaaki Suzuki, Guardian Angel recitals across Europe, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Concerto Italiano, and Bach with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
All photos: Jonas Sacks