Irish harpsichordist Rachel Factor has always had an affinity with Baroque music and the harpsichord but it was not until she began her BA Performance studies as a pianist at the Royal Irish Academy of Music that she was introduced to the instrument. Her initial studies were with Gillian Smith and then later with Dr. David Adams. As a student at The Royal Irish Academy of Music she received numerous scholarships for harpsichord tuition and performed as soloist with The Academy Chamber Orchestra on many occasions. Upon leaving The Royal Irish Academy of Music Rachel has received tutelage from many highly esteemed artists such as Carole Cerasi, Laurence Cummings, Malcom Proud and Christof Rousset in advanced masterclasses. Carole Cerasi has been an influential mentor since Rachel has finished her formal musical studies.
Rachel has established herself as a soloist and chamber musician based in Dublin. She has performed with many of Ireland’s leading ensembles including Irish Chamber Orchestra, RTE Concert Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Cecilia and others. She has performed at many festivals throughout Ireland and has participated in concerts recorded for and broadcast by RTE Lyric FM. In London, Rachel has performed on three previous occasions at The Handel House Museum. The most recent performance was a programme of works for two harpsichords with American harpsichordist Yonit Kosovske.
Rachel has a keen interest in contemporary music and also Irish baroque music. Rachel has performed and toured on many occasions with Irish Composers’ Collective and Crash Ensemble. She has also premiered works by many emerging contemporary composers in Ireland. With the group ‘Sonamus’ (Irish and Baroque fusion group) Rachel has recorded the successful CD ‘Music of Ireland’ The group were a recipient of the countrywide The Arts Council of Ireland Touring Award Scheme in 2016.
In addition to performing work Rachel is harpsichord professor at The Conservatory of Music and Drama at TU Dublin. Rachel is also local centre examiner for the Royal Irish Academy of Music. In a curatorial roll Rachel codirected the successful ‘Alchemy Music Concert Series’ with Baroque guitarist Eamon Sweeney from 2010 until 2019.
In 2010 Rachel was the recipient of The Arts Council Music Network Capital Scheme award. This afforded her the opportunity to commission a harpsichord. She now plays a single manual ‘petit ravelmant’ Flemish harpsichord crafted by Andrew Wooderson after Ioannes Ruckers 1685. Rachel is also recipient of The Arts Council 2017 Artist Bursary. More recently Rachel was a second time recipient of The Arts Council Music Network Capital Scheme Award. She gratefully acknowledges the support of both Music Network and The Arts Council.