Principal Cello

Rachel Mercer

Described as a "pure chamber musician" (Globe and Mail) creating "moments of pure magic" (Toronto Star), Canadian cellist Rachel Mercer has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician across five continents. Grand prize winner of the 2001 Vriendenkrans Competition in Amsterdam, Rachel is cellist of Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, and is Artistic Director of the "5 at the First" Chamber Music Series in Hamilton. She has appeared as guest principal cello with the Canadian Opera Company, National Arts Centre and Munich Chamber orchestras, and has given masterclasses and workshops across North America, South Africa and in Israel. An advocate for new Canadian music, Rachel has commissioned and premiered works including a cello concerto by Kevin Lau, solo work by Andrew Downing and chamber music by Abigail Richardson-Schulte, William Rowson, John Burge and Omar Daniel. Rachel can be heard on the Naxos, Naxos Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, Dalia Classics and EnT-T record labels, and released a critically acclaimed album of the Bach Suites on Pipistrelle in March 2014, recorded on the 1696 Bonjour Stradivarius Cello from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. Winner in the 2015 Instrument Bank competition, Rachel is grateful for the loan of the 1730 Newland Celoniatus cello from 2015-2018. Rachel joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as Associate Principal Cello in January 2016.