Rachel Maxey is 22 years old and studies with Jon Thorne at the Royal Academy of Music. She began playing the viola at the age of 11, having started on violin when she was 5. A member of Hampshire Youth Orchestra from the age of 12, she took on the role of principal viola just two years later. She was also a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for three years, holding a principal position in her final year. She was awarded the Premier Prize at the Mid Somerset Music Festival, 2013, with her performance of the first movement of Bartok’s Viola Concerto; subsequently she performed the full concerto with the Hampshire Youth Chamber Orchestra in Romsey Abbey.
Before studying for her masters at Royal Academy, Rachel graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford with a first class degree in music. At Oxford she held principle positions in a number of university orchestras, as well as taking part in collaborative projects with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and holding an orchestral apprenticeship with the Oxford Philharmonic. In her final year she won the Oxford University Philharmonia concerto competition, resulting in a performance of Bartok viola concerto in the Sheldonian theatre. Rachel has performed recitals as part of Winchester Music festival and Romsey arts festival, and at numerous recital venues, including the Sheldonian theatre, Turner Sims concert hall and the Holywell music rooms. Since joining Academy, she has gained a place on the Birmingham Royal Ballet apprenticeship scheme, and is also enjoying exploring chamber music repertoire with her colleagues, from oboe quartets to piano quintets. Rachel plays a viola hand-made for her by the Scottish Luthier, Douglas Macarthur.