violinist, recording artist, podcaster & writer



january 2022 - please, do not use outdated versions -

“Her electrifying intensity and deep involvement with the emotional narrative of each piece makes an indelible impact and feels like a throwback to a golden age when making music felt like an act of celebration. (…) Kolly’s hypnotic performance is a triumph of interpretative incandescence as she weaves in and out of the music’s surging textures.”
Julian Haylock reviewing “French Impressions” in "Strad Magazine"
The best Swiss soloist in one century! With Rachel, we can finally hope swiss artists will play a major role on international stages. It has been quite calm, recently..."
K. Luhers-Kaiser - Sonntagzeitung

Considered by many the best Swiss Soloist (Sonntagzeitung, Pizzicato, Diapason, Gramophone, NZZ, Fanfare) Rachel Kolly received the « Cultural Prize 2017 » given in recognition of her career and international influence by the canton of Vaud. The Swiss soloist began playing the violin when she was five years old. She is considered one of the most talented Swiss musicians of her generation with a quality of vibrato that has been compared to great violinists of the past. Revered for her passion and temperament coupled with a kaleidoscope of colour and innate musicianship the music world has continued to shine the spotlight on Rachel in Europe and around the world. Signed to Warner Classics Rachel enjoyed great success with her first concerto recording being voted ‘Recording of the Year 2012’ by ICMA and her second concerto recording having been nominated for the same concerto category for 2013 after its release in October 2012. Rachel Kolly has won every major Swiss award including the Swiss Paderewski Prize in 1997, 1st Prize in the Execution Musicale "Young Talents" of 1998, the Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation in 2000, Foundation Award Fridl-Wald in 2002 and Leenards Foundation in 2004. She won the 2005 Fifth International Competition "Julio Cardona" where she also received the prize for Best Interpretation of a Contemporary Work. Today she can add the outstanding Supersonic Award (Pizzicato Magazine) and ICMA Award 2012 for her CD recordings to this highly regarded list.

A personal choice of the artist who loves recording studios, her career develops around her discography that translates her passions and the repertoires she likes to defend. For example, her following CD, released by the Label Aparté in 2015 (Harmonia Mundi) in chamber music is entitled « fin de siècle" in sublime works by Franck and Chausson, between ecstasy and agony. At her side, Christian Chamorel on the piano, and the Spektral Quartet of Chicago. The album was first presented at Wigmore Hall, followed by an extensive Irish tour and then followed by an Europe and Central America Tour. (Guatemala, USA, Mexico Colombia, Panama and the Cayman Islands). In 2017, she released her latest Opus: « Lyrical Journey », which presents rare masterpieces by Richard Strauss and Guillaume Lekeu, written at the same time. This CD has received accolades from the international press and is once again nominated for an ICMA Award 2018 as best CD of the year and also receives a Supersonic Award, as well as the Diapason magazine's top mark.

Rachel Kolly made her debut as a soloist at the age of 12. She plays with prestigious orchestras and is one of the most experienced Swiss soloists. She has played with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Seville Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI of Torino and the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln alongside being invited to orchestras as prestigious as Tokyo’s NHK Symphony Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Orchestra della Toscana,
(“In Bernstein’s Serenade the young violinist Rachel Kolly drew every possible lyrical quality from a cerebral and a slightly complex score with a sound rich in colours and expressive intensity. It was an excellent performance greeted by huge applause…” Giuseppe Rossi – Quotidiano Nazionale), the Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, the Milan Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Symphonic Orchestra, the Nürenberg Symphonic Orchestra, the Lithuanian National Orchestra, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Malaga Symphony Orchestra, the Verona Arena Orchestra, the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra in Chile and Asuncion. She also plays at the Festival "le violon sur le sable" in front of 50'000 people the concerto by Bruch, and with youth orchestras in South America in aid programs for underprivileged children and with recycled instruments.
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Rachel Kolly became an Ambassador for Handicap International and her first work for the charity was in Cambodia in February  2013. Since then, she organised concerts for the organisation. She is a devoted mother to her daughter and she also writes short stories and novels.

Rachel has been privileged to play on a magnificent Stradivarius violin made in 1732 since April 2011.

In 2020, her CD "Bach Partitas" is released to great acclame. Her album is voted "CD of the month" by revered Japanese Newspaper "Record Gejutsu". After an extensive tour playing Bach's music, Rachel's season 2022/2023 includes performances of Mendelssohn violin concerto, Bach concerto, Brahms violin concerto, Bruch violin concerto, and Herman Suter violin Concerto.