Violist Rachel Ku joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as the youngest member of the Orchestra in September 2004, at the age of 19. She has been studying viola since age eight and piano since age five. She made her solo debut in Taipei in 1995 and has since made solo appearances with the Mansfield Symphony in Ohio, the Rice University Chamber Orchestra, and the Curtis Chamber Ensemble. In January 2005 she performed as soloist in Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher with the Delaware Symphony as part of that ensemble’s subscription concert series.
Ms. Ku has received several awards and honors, including first prize in the 2004 Delaware Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition and second prize in the 2002 Riverside Symphonia Caprio Young Artists Competition. She was rewarded first prize at the 1997 Taiwan National Viola Competition, as well as second and fifth prizes in the 1996 Taiwan National Viola and Piano competitions, respectively. During the summers she has participated in numerous music festivals, such as Marlboro, Sarasota, Kneisel Hall, Taos, Angel Fire, the International Music Festival in Saluzzo, Italy, and the Encore School for Strings. She has collaborated as chamber musician with such artists as Kim Kashkashian, Steven Isserlis, Julian Rachlin, Chantal Juillet, David Kim, Arnold Steinhardt, and Marcy Rosen.
Ms. Ku graduated with a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory studying with Ms. Kashkashian and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Joseph dePasquale. She was principal viola of the Curtis Symphony for the 2002–03 season. In addition to teaching private lessons she is also an adjunct faculty member at Cairn University and Temple University.
Photo: Jessica Griffin