Rachel Podger is a wonder… she engages with this music as if she were Bach's playmate’(Albuquerque Journal). She was educated in Germany and in England at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she studied with David Takeno and Michaela Comberti. During her studies Rachel cofounded The Palladian Ensemble and Florilegium, two highly acclaimed baroque chamber groups which enjoyed exploring music of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in concert and on record. From 1997 to 2002 she was leader of The English Concert with whom she toured throughout the world, often as concerto soloist. In 2004 Rachel began a guest directorship of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, opening with a highly successful tour in the USA with Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. Rachel also works as a guest director with Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Musica Angelica (USA) and Santa Fe Pro Musica (USA), and as soloist with The Academy of Ancient Music. As a recitalist Rachel enjoys a busy career; she has given solo concerts in North America, Europe, Japan and Korea. Future engagements include concerts in France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, England, Scotland and Japan, several of them with Gary Cooper on keyboard. Rachel's first solo recordings (for Channel Classics), of J.S.Bach's Sonatas and Partitas, were released in 1999 to great critical acclaim. These discs were followed, in 2001, by Bach's Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord with Trevor Pinnock. Both recordings were awarded first place by the BBC's 'Building a Library' programme. Rachel's recording of Telemann's Twelve Fantasies for Solo Violin won the prestigious 'Diapason d'Or' and was listed in the BBC Music Magazine's 'top 20' classical CDs of 2002. Rachel's 2003 recording of Vivaldi's 12 violin concertos 'La Stravaganza' also received the 'Diapason d'Or' and was awarded the 2003 Gramophone award for Best Baroque Instrumental recording as well as being runner-up for the overall Record of the Year. With harpsichordist and fortepianist Gary Cooper she will record the complete Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Keyboard. The first CD of this series, issued in 2005, was 'Editor's Choice' of Gramophone and received another 'Diapason d'Or'. Rachel is Professor of Baroque Violin at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She also teaches at the International Sommer Akademie in Innsbruck, Austria.