Rachel Atkinson

Cellist Rachel Atkinson currently performs with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. She has toured extensively both as an orchestra member and a soloist. She is cellist of the Fidelio Quartet.

Rachel Atkinson is one of Australia's most talented cellists. After studying cello with Georg Pedersen at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music she was awarded an Associated Board Scholarship and a Butland Music Foundation Grant to study with David Strange at the Royal Academy of Music, London. While at the Academy she was awarded the Frederic Moore Memorial Prize and the Frank Reizenstein Prize as cellist of the Sarastro Trio. Rachel has performed in masterclasses with Lynn Harrell, Ofra Harnoy and Zara Nelsova.

In 1992 she won a grant from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council to further her studies with William Pleeth. Rachel has toured Canada and New Zealand as a soloist with the Auckland Youth Orchestra and recorded for Radio New Zealand. She has given premieres of many contemporary works and has appeared as solo recitalist in New Zealand, Britain, Turkey, Germany, Holland, Malaysia and Israel.

In 2012, Rachel was the Music Director of The Play of Daniel for Victorian Opera's youth program. From 2008 - 2013, she was the Artistic Director of Nefes Ensemble, performing Classical music from the Ottoman Court and Sufi ritual. Nefes Ensemble performed at the Melbourne and Adelaide Festivals and toured Victorian schools in metropolitan and regional areas. She is teacher of cello and chamber music at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.

From 2017 – 19, the Fidelio Quartet will perform the complete Beethoven Cycle at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Rachel has played with the Melbourne Symphony for over twenty years. During that time, she has toured internationally on many occasions and has enjoyed partnerships with artists as diverse as Sting, the Three Tenors and Ray Charles. She has taken part in numerous Outreach programs for the Melbourne Symphony, working with prisoners and their families, collaborating with theatre companies and with schools in remote areas.

‘Rachel's interpretation is full of vitality and extreme sensitivity. She displays maturity in depth of expression and technical ability. with ease she shows highly rhythmic passages and lyrical lines.’ (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Performing as Trio Melbourne

Trio Melbourne is an ensemble comprising three outstanding artists - Roger Heagney (piano), Isin Cakmakcioglu (violin) and Rachel Atkinson (cello). It was established in 1993, and since then has performed to great critical acclaim in Australia and Europe.

20th Century Piano Trios

This CD by highly acclaimed Trio Melbourne features a stunning collection of 20th Century piano trios, including two never-before recorded pieces by Australian composers Sculthorpe and Yu.

Performer: Cello

Rachel Atkinson also appears on

Elegy: Reflections on the music of Peter Tahourdin

This CD will be launched on 11 March 2017. It is a companion to the Australian composer's other Move CD "Exposé". It showcases solo pieces for cello and flute, electronic scores, and small ensemble pieces.

Performer: Cello

Peter Sculthorpe

A retrospective compilation of some of the highlights of the music of the late Peter Sculthorpe. Many favourites are included.


Butterfly Modernism

This is composer Eve Duncan’s third release, a 2-CD set, and it heralds new approaches in her music.


Ambient Voice

Ambient Voice features Dean Frenkel's haunting harmonic vocals strategically placed over and within the music of outstanding Australian composers, including Mark Clement Pollard, George Dreyfus, Andrew MacGregor and the group Invention in Time.

Performer: Cello

A Handful of Rain

Inspired by the Gamelan and Japanese Shinto music, the recent ambient work of Mark Clement Pollard is unique in its pursuit of beauty and simplicity. A Handful of Rain is the first comprehensive collection of this acclaimed Australian composer's popular style.

Performer: Cello

Classical Allusion

Julian Yu takes famous pieces from the Western musical tradition and ornaments them in the manner of Chinese folk music.

Performer: Cello