“…the recital ended majestically with Chopin’s F minor Ballade, which combined sensitivity with powerful technical command. Fastidious musicianship was apparent behind all the player’s virtuosity…what added to the charm of a brilliant recital was Miss Franklin’s delightful platform manner…” ~ Yorkshire Post, England
RACHEL FRANKLIN, PIANO
British-born pianist Rachel Franklin is much in demand as performer, music lecturer and teacher. As a Pro Musicis International Award winner, she gave her solo debuts in Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, and Jordan Hall, Boston. The Boston Globe enthused about her “beautiful differentiations of color, touch and texture” and described a performance on her solo debut CD as “not inferior…to the recorded performances by Cortot and Rubinstein.” She has also given European Pro Musicis solo debuts in Paris and Rome. At the Wigmore Hall, London, critics applauded her “stunning individuality,” “exquisite dynamic control,” and “amazing power and solidity of technique.” The Washington Post has praised her “cool-headed bravura and panache” and the Baltimore Sun lauded “a flawless crystalline technique, and warmth and electricity in her playing.” Regional successes include concertos with the Washington Sinfonietta, the Symphony of the Potomac, the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, the Frederick Symphony, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus Orchestra, the Arlington Philharmonic and the Columbia Orchestra.
As both soloist and ensemble artist, Rachel Franklin has concertized throughout Europe, Canada and the US, and has won many awards and prizes. She has performed on BBC Radio 3, on WQXR and WNYC in New York, WJHU in Baltimore, and Radio Telefis Eireann in Ireland. After being specially featured on NPR’s “Performance Today” program, she gave frequent spoken broadcasts for them. She is doubly talented as an accomplished jazz pianist, having performed with many jazz ensembles, including her own classical/jazz chamber ensemble SONOS who have appeared widely throughout the area.
Deeply committed to musical outreach and education, Rachel has a busy dual career as a popular music speaker and since 2020 she has been greatly in demand for her unique online presentations. She is one of the Smithsonian Associates’ most popular live-streaming lecturers, and her topics explore intersections between classical and jazz music, music history, film scores, and the fine arts.
She has recently joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as their Strathmore Music Scholar in Residence, and will be giving all the BSO’s pre-concert presentations at their Bethesda, MD venue, Strathmore Hall as part of their “Inside the Classics” series. In June 2023 she was one of the featured speakers at the Aspen Ideas: Health Conference in Colorado, presenting and performing on the subject of Music and the Natural World, a topic about which she’s also been interviewed by WHYY’s Maiken Scott for The Pulse. This past New Year she was invited to give the Plenary Lunchtime Performance for the prestigious Renaissance Weekend conference in Charleston, SC.
Her broad range of musical expertise has brought her back repeatedly to enthusiastic audiences across the DMV, including the Academy Art Museum in Easton MD, the Chesapeake Film Festival and many others. Besides appreciating her performing artistry, her listeners rave about her warm, engaging style as she illustrates at the piano.
For two decades she was also the Education Programs Lecturer and Online Content Advisor for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, giving all the ASO’s pre-concert video “Chats” plus commentating for both the ASO’s live-streamed and pre-recorded concerts.
Much in demand as an inspiring artist-teacher, she frequently gives master classes and judges competitions for gifted young musicians. She has taught at the Royal College of Music and the Peabody Conservatory, where she received her Doctorate of Musical Arts.
Rachel Franklin studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Royal College of Music, and the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv University, where she won First Prize in the school’s piano competition and received highest honors upon graduation. Her teachers have included Louis Kentner, Irina Zaritskaya, and Ann Schein.