Rachel Franklin, Lecturer

Rachel Franklin

British-born concert pianist Dr. Rachel Franklin is a renowned teacher and performer in the mid-Atlantic region. Her acclaimed wit, scholarship and insights about music have led to countless speaking engagements for such distinguished organizations as the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and National Public Radio.

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, film scores, and the fine arts. She is also the Adult Program 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.

This wide 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 on the piano.

Rachel Franklin has concertized in major halls across Europe, Canada and the US. When, 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." 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.”

Her recent regional appearances include concerto performances with the Arlington Philharmonic, the Columbia Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus Orchestra, the Washington Sinfonietta, the Symphony of the Potomac, the Piedmont Symphony and others.

She is doubly talented as an accomplished jazz pianist, leading her own classical/jazz chamber ensemble SONOS. They have performed widely throughout the area, including several highly successful music and poetry evenings for the Friends of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and they recently anchored the orchestra’s “12 Days of Music” Holiday video performance series.

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.

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