A consistently exciting artist, renowned globally for her spectacular technique, sumptuous sound and deeply probing musicianship, violinist RACHEL LEE PRIDAY has appeared as soloist with major international orchestras, among them the Chicago, Houston, National, Pacific, St. Louis and Seattle symphony orchestras, Boston Pops Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Germany’s Staatskapelle Berlin. Her distinguished recital appearances have brought her to eminent venues, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Mostly Mozart Festival, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series, Paris’ Musée du Louvre, Germany’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and Switzerland’s Verbier Festival. Ms. Priday has also toured the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Since making her orchestral debut at the 1997 Aspen Music Festival, Rachel Lee Priday has performed with numerous orchestras across the United States, including those of Alabama, Bangor, Colorado, Knoxville, Rockford and Springfield (MA), as well as the New York Youth Symphony. In Europe and Asia, she has appeared at Germany’s Moritzburg Festival and with orchestras in Graz, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea, where she performed with the KBS Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Russian State Symphony Orchestra on tour.
Passionately committed to new music and creating enriching community and global connections, Rachel Lee Priday’s wide-ranging repertoire and multidisciplinary collaborations reflect a deep fascination with literary and cultural narratives. Recent seasons have seen a new Violin Sonata commissioned from Pulitzer Prize Finalist Christopher Cerrone and the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s The Orphic Moment in an innovative staging that mixed poetry, drama, visuals and music. She has collaborated often with Ballet San Jose, and was lead performer in “Tchaikovsky: None But the Lonely Heart”, theatrical concerts with the Ensemble for the Romantic Century at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Ms. Priday’s work as soloist with the Asia America New Music Instituted promoted new music relationships and cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, combining music premieres and educational outreach in the United States, China, Korea and Vietnam.
Rachel Lee Priday began her violin studies at the age of four in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, she moved to New York City to study with the iconic pedagogue Dorothy DeLay; she continued her studies at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division with Itzhak Perlman. She holds a B.A. degree in English from Harvard University and an M.M. from the New England Conservatory, where she worked with Miriam Fried. In the fall of 2019, she joined the faculty of the University of Washington School of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin.
Rachel Lee Priday has been profiled in The New Yorker, The Strad, Los Angeles Times and Family Circle. Her performance have been broadcast on major media outlets in the United States, Germany, Korea, South Africa and Brazil, including a televised concert in Rio de Janeiro, numerous appearances on Chicago’s WFMT and American Public Media’s “Performance Today.” She has also been featured on the Disney Channel, “Fiddling for the Future” and “American Masters” on PBS, and the Grammy Awards.
Rachel Lee Priday performs on a Nicolo Gagliano violin (Naples, 1760), double-purfled with fleurs-de-lis, named Alejandro.
Concerto #1 in a, BWV 1041
Concerto #2 in E, BWV 1042
Concerto in g, BWV 1056R (Reconstruction)
Concerto in d for 2 Violins, BWV 1043
Concerto, Op. 14
Concerto #2 (1938)
Concerto in D, Op. 61
Concerto in C, Op. 56 (“Triple”)
Romance #2 in F, Op. 50
Concerto #9 in G, Op. 8
Concerto in D, Op. 77
Concerto in d, Op. 15
Concerto #1 in g, Op. 26
Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46
Poème, Op. 25
Concerto in e
The Red Violin: Chaconne for Violin & Orchestra
Concerto in a, Op. 53
Romance in f, Op. 11
Concerto in b, Op. 61
Concerto in a, Op. 82
HARTMANN, Karl Amadeus
Concerto #1 in C
Concerto #2 in D
Concerto in d (1940)
Concerto in D, Op. 35
Symphonie espagnole, Op. 21
Concerto in e, Op. 64
Concerto #3 in G, K. 216
Concerto #4 in D, K. 218
Concerto #5 in A, K. 219
Sinfonia concertante in E-flat, K. 364
Concerto #1 in D, Op. 6
Concerto #1 in D, Op. 19
Concerto #2 in g, Op. 63
Concerto #3 in b, Op. 61
Havanaise, Op. 83
Introduction & Rondo capriccioso, Op. 28
Introduction & Tarantella, Op. 43
Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
Concerto in d, WoO 23
Concerto #1 in a, Op. 99
Concerto in d, Op. 47
Concerto in D (1931)
Concerto in D, Op. 35
Valse-Scherzo, Op. 34
The Lark Ascending
Concerto #5 in a, Op. 37
L’estro Armonico, Op. 3
Concerto #5 in A for 2 Violins, RV 517
Concerto #6 in a, RV 356
Concerto #10 in b for 4 Violins, RV 580
The Four Seasons, Op. 8
Concerto #2 in d, Op. 22
It’s not just her technique, although clearly there’s nothing she can’t do on the fingerboard or with her bow. No, what’s most impressive is that she is already an artist who can make the music sing.
THE BALTIMORE SUN
Lee comes home with irresistible panache [headline]
Her sound is big and luscious enough to ride the orchestral crests comfortably, yet supple enough to make the singing paragraphs soar. Her bow work combines dazzling dexterity with an idiomatic feel for Prokofiev’s [Concerto #2] quirky Slavic rhythms. Not only did she pour out endless floods of ardent lyricism in the slow movement, but she also dispatched the finale’s whirling bravura with irresistible panache.
Rachel Lee’s performance was nothing short of exquisite; words could not describe this violinist’s talents, Indeed, Lee is among the most talented musicians in the world.
THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
Lee is the real thing. She played the [Tchaikovsky] Violin Concerto with a rich, mellifluous sound and negotiated the work’s demanding running passages with chiseled clarity. Lee was particularly eloquent in the concert’s second movement, and she brought a dazzling, forceful technique to bear on the third movement.
THE GREENVILLE NEWS (South Carolina)
Lee seemed not the least intimidated by [Paganini’s fiendishly difficult 1816 Violin Concerto #1]. She coped with the music’s acrobatic turns and leaps with immaculate precision, but amid all the violin fireworks she also played with expressive phrasing and warmth of tone. This was especially apparent in the slow movement that she turned into a welcome oasis of Italianate lyricism. In the racehorse Finale, Lee’s execution of the bouncing spiccato passages was truly dazzling. The audience gave Lee a well-deserved standing ovation.
THE BUFFALO NEWS
Priday is an alluring, enigmatic performer, delighting in the contrasts of ethereal serenity and electrifying volcanism. Her interpretation of the concerto [Prokofiev #1] was an exploration of these ideas, opening on a single glistening gossamer thread that became darker, thicker, and more menacing. Accentuating the harmonic angst of the second subject and its edgy awkwardness, she revealed the volcano–a lava-flow of shredding scales and explosive pizzicato. She’s a live wire!
#CONCERT REVIEW (Cape Town, South Africa)
by Andy Wilding
The brilliant young-Korean-American violinist, Rachel Lee Priday, whose solo career with major orchestras now spans the globe, is also a noted chamber artist. Lee Priday performed her sonata [Beethoven #7] with splendid confidence and depth of emotion, emphasizing the power of the C minor repeated figures and their sweet complements in the relative major. She and pianist [Michael] Brown made eye contact repeatedly, and their ineffable communication yielded strikingly coordinated dynamics and, in the second movement, exquisitely stunning pauses between forceful exhortations, romantic phrases, and blazing C major scales. Beethoven’s dazzling human insight and sense of humor radiated through cascades of questions-and-answers, quick shifts from major to minor, and deliciously offset accents. The fourth movement was a revelatio9n of Beethoven the conjurer at the heights of his powers, the marvelously slow beginning giving way to a steaming allegro with multiple rhythmic and harmonic punctuations. In the end these astounding young players, whose exchanges gathered height and tremendous intensity, constructed yet another musical edifice, topped off by a wild presto with echoes of passionate gypsy dance.
THE BERKSHIRE EDGE (Massachusetts)
BSO delivers moving, thrilling concert [headline]
The Violin Concerto No. 3 of Saint-Saëns is a showpiece for the composer’s gifts for melody and orchestral color. The soloist, Rachel Lee Priday, boasts an impressive resumé of concert and recital performance. She played the opening theme powerfully and easily tossed off the work’s challenging pyrotechnics.
THE ELLSWORTH AMERICAN (Maine)
The American violinist Rachel Lee Priday came out to play the solo in Brahms’s concerto in D. [Williams] Eddins and Priday seemed unified in their singular conception of Brahms and the piece. Theirs was the raging, thundering, table-thumping, heaven-storming, kick-stomping Brahms, a composer of boundless fury and unlimited ecstasy, albeit one who expresses his extremes in backward-looking classical forms and traditional structures, and an abiding sense of beauty and lyricism. Eddins and Priday phrased all sections of the entire concerto in tandem, arcing wondrous long lines of thought and emotion over bar line after bar line. They kept close communion throughout, sometimes even seeming to dance together to the music. Priday, who plays with enormous and strong sound, soared with bravura through her virtuosic part; as the orchestra took up the theme in the finale, she urged them to play it faster.
THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION (Washington, DC)
free streaming event, with registration:
ROANOKE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (VA)
David Stewart Wiley, conductor
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
PORTLAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (ME)
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Boulogne: Violin Concerto #9
GULF COAST SYMPHONY ORCHESTR
Peter Rubardt, conductor
Lalo: Symphonie espagnole
SPRINGFIELD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (MO)
Kyle Wiley Pickett, conductor
Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy
UC DAVIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (CA)
Christian Baldini, conductor
Farías: Violin Concerto (world premiere)