Best known for her eloquent and virtuosic performances on a huge range of flutes and recorders, Rachel Brown is also an acknowledged authority on historical performance practice, an inspirational teacher and an entertaining and illuminating speaker.
Whilst training on modern flute at Manchester University and the Royal Northern College of Music with Trevor Wye she won numerous prizes leading to performances of flute concertos by Ibert and Nielsen and went on to win the coveted American National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition in Chicago in 1984. She gave first performances of works by Robin Walker, John Ogden, Judith Weir and a new commission for the Park Lane Group by Barry Guy. However, her interest in early music had already been captured by her recorder teacher, Ross Winters, and this naturally led to study of the baroque flute with Lisa Beznosiuk and Stephen Preston and an exploration of the many diverse classical and nineteenth-century flutes and their rich solo and chamber repertoire.
Rachel’s recital discs of French Baroque Music and Quantz Sonatas established her reputation and her recording of virtuosic works by Schubert and Boehm on simple-system, ring-keyed and Boehm alto flutes has been described as ‘a revelation’ (Pan). As a soloist, she has recorded extensively and toured in Europe, Japan and North America with a comprehensive concerto repertoire from J.S. Bach, Vivaldi and Telemann to Mozart. She has given many performances of the newly discovered Handel Flute Concerto and her championing of the works of the Berlin School has reawakened interest in the largely unknown masterpieces by Quantz. Her dazzling recordings of the Quantz and C.P.E. Bach Concertos have won international acclaim. Most recently, her recording of the CPE Bach D minor concerto was voted best by Polish radio.
Rachel appears on many Telemann discs with Collegium Musicum 90 and her recording of the complete Handel flute and recorder sonatas op.1 with the Academy of Ancient Music has been described as “heart-rending” (BBC Music Magazine) and “enchanting” (The Independent). She has recorded Bach’s B minor Suite twice, with the Brandenburg Consort and the Academy of Ancient Music. Rachel is a founder member and soloist with the London Handel Players with whom she has recorded Geminiani sonatas op.1 and three discs of Handel’s chamber music, described as ‘perfection itself’ (Pan).