At age 17, violist Rachel Li McDonald made her debut chamber performance at Carnegie Hall through From the Top Live from Carnegie, broadcasted on PBS. She recently performed as part of Rice University’s Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra in Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall conducted under Larry Rachleff.
Through the Young Musicians Foundation Chamber Program, Rachel has performed live on KMZT Radio’s “Sunday Live” broadcast various times. In 2006, Rachel also performed live on KMZT for YMF Mozart 250th Birthday Chamber Concert. Rachel not only was a part of the Colburn Honor’s Quartet, but participated in various chamber festivals such as Encore Summer School for Strings, The Quartet Program, and Heifetz International Summer Institute. Some chamber coaches Rachel has had the privilege to be coached under are Earl Carlyss, Daniel Heifetz, Nicholas Mann, Desmond Hoebig, and James Dunham.
In addition to having soloed with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, Rachel has also performed as an orchestral musician in the Colburn Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, and Shepherd School of Music Orchestra under conductors such as Ronald Leonard, James DePreist, Bernard Haitink, Tan Dun, and Larry Rachleff.
Rachel received her Masters degree at Rice University studying under James Dunham. She also holds a Bachelors from The Juilliard School under Heidi Castleman and Misha Amory. Rachel previously studied with Diana Ray Goodman, John Hayhurst, and Brian Chen. She has also performed in masterclasses with David Holland and Paul Coletti as well as chamber masterclasses with the Biava Quartet, Cavani Quartet, and Takacs Quartet.
A lover of spreading the joy of music to the community, Rachel was a part of the Gluck Fellowship program offered at Juilliard and went to a variety of hospitals and care centers throughout the city to perform to audiences ranging from young children to the elderly. In her pre-college days, Rachel also was a part of an ensemble called Sunset Hills String Ensemble, and did similar outreach performances.