Rachel Desoer

Principal*

Rachel Desoer is a cellist from Hamilton, Ontario. She studied at the Juilliard School, Oberlin College and Conservatory, McGill University, and the Banff Centre. She graduated from Oberlin in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music degree.

Rachel was the cellist of the Cecilia String Quartet from 2010 to 2018. In this ensemble, Rachel toured extensively around the world, recorded four albums on the Analekta label, and taught chamber music at the University of Toronto.

Touring has brought Rachel to inspiring venues such as Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Berlin, and many more. The Cecilia Quartet also made educational programming a priority, and performed hundreds of presentations for schools. In 2014, the quartet created a concert series called Xenia, concerts specifically designed for children on the autism spectrum and their families. Exemplifying their commitment to the equal representation of women in music, Rachel spearheaded the commissioning of four string quartets by Canadian women composers in 2016.

Throughout her schooling and career, Rachel has also played recitals and concertos with orchestra. She has also worked in other orchestras – most notably, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company.

Rachel plays the 1929 Carlo Giuseppe Oddone cello generously on loan to her from an anonymous donor.