Rachel Kolly d’Alba


The Swiss soloist Rachel Kolly d'Alba began playing the violin when she was five years old. She is now considered one of the most talented Swiss musicians of her generation with a quality of vibrato that has been compared to great violinists of the past and her matching fire, temperament and musicianship adding colour and life to her playing. These qualities are recognised internationally as with her first concerto recording being voted Best Recording of the Year in 2012 by ICMA and her second concerto nominated for the same award in 2013.

Rachel Kolly d’Alba received her violin teaching diploma from Lausanne Conservatoire when she was 15, continuing her studies in the class of Igor Ozim in Bern and graduated as a soloist whilst also benefiting from lessons and master classes with other masters who have included Franco Gulli, Ivry Gitlis, Boris Kushnir, Hansheinz Schneeberger and Thomas Kakuska.

Rachel Kolly d’Alba made her debut as a concerto soloist when she was 12. She has since played with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Seville Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI of Torino, WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, Tokyo’s NHK Symphony Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Orchestra della Toscana, Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Bienne, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “G.Verdi”, Berner Symphonieorchester, Orchestra della Radio Svizzera Italiana of Lugano, and the Fribourg Chamber Orchestra.

As a recitalist she plays with her duo partner Christian Chamorel at highly regarded festivals like the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Schleswig Holstein Festival, Festival de Menton, Festival "Encuentros" and "Mozarteum" at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the "Sigall" in Chile, the "International Festival of Flanders", Chicago International Beethoven Festival and at Teatro Olimpico through her charity association, CultureALL.

Rachel has won every major Swiss award including the Swiss Paderewski Prize in 1997, 1st Prize in the Execution Musicale "Young Talents" of 1998, the Kiefer Hablitzel Foundation in 2000, Foundation Award Fridl-Wald in 2002 and Leenards Foundation in 2004. She won the 2005 Fifth International Competition "Julio Cardona" where she also received the prize for Best Interpretation of a Contemporary Work. Today she can add the outstanding Supersonic Award 2011 (Pizzicato Magazine) and ICMA Award 2012 to her list of accolades.

Rachel’s first cd release in 2010 of the six sonatas by composer Eugène Ysaÿe, "Passion Ysaÿe", burst onto the musical scene receiving unanimously high praise from international press. Her next CD, "French Impressions" of 2011, was with orchestras conducted by Jean-Jacques Kantorow and John Axelrod in French music by Saint-Saëns, Chausson, Ravel and Ysaÿe. “American Serenade” (2012) features works by American composers Gershwin, Bernstein and Waxman with L’Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire conducted by John Axelrod.

Her interests extend into the worlds of contemporary music, analysis and composition and she continually studies in those areas creating her own new work alongside collaborations with composers such as Tristan Murail, Eric Gaudibert and Jürg Wyttenbach. Rachel Kolly d’Alba became an Ambassador for Handicap International and her first work for the charity was in Cambodia in February 2013. Since then, she organized concerts for the organisation. She is a devoted mother to her daughter and she also writes short stories and novels.

Rachel has been privileged to play on a magnificent Stradivarius violin made in 1732 since April 2011.