Colombian-American violinist Rachel Ostler has performed in concert halls across the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. She has participated in various international competitions, including the 55th Paganini Premio Competition, the Princess Astrid Competition, the Isangyun Competition, and the Alice Schoenfeld Competition, and she is the first prize winner of the AYS Young Artist Competition, the Parness Young Artist Competition, the Rio Hondo Young Artist Competition and the Aspen Music Festival Competition.
Ostler’s musical studies include masterclasses with internationally renowned violinists, including Gil Shaham, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman, Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, Anne Akiko-Meyers, and Baiba Skride. Throughout her career, Ostler has been featured at Carnegie Hall, Moritzburg Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, and Colburn Chamber Music Society. As an orchestral violinist, she has had the opportunity to play under the batons of Neville Marriner, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Vasily Petrenko, Gilbert Varga, Christina Măcelaru, Thierry Fischer, and John Adams.
Ostler is a former member of the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and the New Haven Symphony and has performed as guest concertmaster and soloist with the Young Artist Debut Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony. She has performed extensively with the San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony. A recent graduate of the Yale School of Music, she served as concertmaster with the Yale Philharmonia while studying with Ani Kavafian. Previously she studied at the Colburn Conservatory under the tutelage of Robert Lipsett and Arnold Steinhardt.
Ostler performs on a 1774 Antonio Gragnani.
Q & A
What year did you join the ASO?
Jean Sibelius, Maurice Ravel
What's the most interesting or difficult facet of your instrument?
Not easy to answer this! But I think the most interesting facet of the violin is its versatility: it's a stringed instrument, so it's able to fit into that warm, lush sound that composers rely on from strings, but then it is so easily mobile and acrobatic, which means you rarely get a rest as a violinist, and then with its high range on the E string it can even be strident and almost brassy. I think the difficulty in playing violin often stems from composers having really gotten quite good at exploring the limits of that versatility.
What do you do in your free time outside of work?
Read, play tennis, leisurely bike rides, hiking
Earliest musical memory?
Watching Hilary Hahn play Mendelssohn Violin concerto live when I was four years old.
Most interesting or unusual place you've played a concert?
A plane hangar in a little town outside of Dresden, Germany
What is your go-to karaoke song?
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin