Rachael Young

“…a serious musician, and a very sensitive and dynamic conductor…”

Leonid Grin

Rachael Young began her conducting career in 2007, having been a professional cellist in, first, her native New Zealand, and then, in the UK. Rachael is trained in the Russian system of conducting. This system came out of the Old German conducting tradition and was developed by the leading Russian music academies in the late 19th century and into the first half of the 20th century. It demands a level of technical stability that is the foundation for emotionally, intellectually and psychologically charged performances. For the last three years Rachael has been under the tutelage of renowned conducting teacher Maestro Leonid Grin – Paavo Järvi’s former teacher and former assistant to Leonard Bernstein throughout the 1980s – a leading exponent of the Russian school of conducting having studied and taught at the Moscow Conservatory within the Soviet system of the 70s and 80s.

Rachael has worked with a number of ensembles since 2007 including the St Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, the South Bohemian Chamber Orchestra, the Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Sinfonia and the Russian Virtuosi of Europe.

Rachael has participated in a number of prestigious conducting master classes since 2007. In both 2008 and 2010 she took part in Neeme Järvi’s Summer Academy in Estonia, the final concert at the 2010 event being broadcast live on Klassika Raadio Estonia with the Parnu City Orchestra and Estonian National Youth Chamber Orchestra. Rachael has also participated in master classes with Jorma Panula, in the Celebidache Foundation Masterclass held in the Czech Republic and in ‘The London master classes’ at The Royal Academy of Music.

Recent engagements include being invited to guest conducting the Kharkov Philharmonic Orchestra in the Ukraine in a programme including works by Haydn and Mozart in the autumn on 2011 (and again for autumn 2012), and conducting the English Sinfonia and Lara Melda at St John’s, London in May 2011, and the same Orchestra with Viktoria Postnikova at St John’s in September 2011. For the 2012/2013 season Rachael is embarking on a series of concerts with the Russian Virtuosi of Europe at London’s Cadogan Hall.

Rachael began her musical studies at 13 and went on to take her B.Mus at Victoria University, Wellington. A scholarship from The Boston Conservatory, Massachusetts enabled her to pursue post graduate studies in America. In 1994 Rachael came to England and with the help of a New Zealand Arts Council grant studied cello with William Pleeth (teacher of Jaqueline du Pre) and later Moray Welsh.