Australian-born violinist Rachel Smith has been a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2014, and prior to that was Principal 1st violin in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. She is also a regular guest player with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia.
A keen chamber musician, Rachel is founding Artistic Director of the Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival (now in its 12th year), which takes place on a beautiful sub-tropical island off the coast of Brisbane. Apart from presenting concerts, the festival incorporates an education programme for younger school students as well as an intensive chamber music program for tertiary students.
As a teacher, Rachel has taught and coached extensively from beginner to tertiary level. In 2018, she became a member of the St Mary’s teaching staff. Other teaching credits include Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Macgregor Summer School, Southern Cross Soloists Winter School and Broughton High School (Edinburgh Music School).
Rachel completed her undergraduate music studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with Michele Walsh, and her Master’s Degree at Northwestern University, Chicago, where she was awarded a fellowship with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In 2003 she was recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Performing Arts Fellowship, which enabled her to undertake further violin studies with Ilan Gronich in Berlin.
In 2013 Rachel received an Australia Council grant for a period of study with Sophie Till in the USA in order to deepen her understanding of the elements that make up a healthy technique, thereby aiming at playing with ease and brilliance as well as preventing playing limitations and injury.
Rachel Smith enjoys living in Edinburgh with her husband, cellist Eric de Wit, and two young daughters. Her hobbies include baking, knitting and reading on the couch.