Rachel Brown is an active chamber musician, soloist, orchestral performer, and educator.
After three years as a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she is now the Associate Principal Second Violin of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and also performs with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, and Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Previously, she held the Associate Concertmaster chair with the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Brown is currently the Artistic Director of the Chicago-based chamber group, Ursa Ensemble, of which she is also a founding member. The group focuses on engaging unique audiences in the chamber music repertoire by working with collaborative artists and curating programs that directly involve the listener. In addition to this, she appears frequently as a guest artist with the CHAI Collaborative Ensemble.
Rachel is dedicated to continuing the existence of art music by performing and commissioning contemporary works. She has given countless world premiers, has performed with ensembles such as Ensemble Dal Niente, Fifth House Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, and Ensemble 20+, and has worked with world-renowned composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, Bernard Rands, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Rodolfo Acosta, Pierce Gradone, and Mathias Spahlinger.
As a soloist, Rachel appears in recital regularly with her duo partner, James P. Barnett. She is an annual guest on Mr. Barnett’s salon-style series, LOFTrecital, and the two have given concerts in Chicago, Minneapolis, Grand Rapids, and St. Louis.
Extremely devoted to educating future generations of musicians and music-lovers, Rachel is on faculty at both Harold Washington College and Chicago Academy for the Arts, and is a coach for the Chicago Arts Initiative’s New Music Youth Ensemble, with which she recently attended the International Music Course at Darmstadt, Germany.
Ms. Brown holds a Certificate of Performance and a Master of Music degree from DePaul University’s School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and a High School Diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy.