Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, pianist Rachael Kerr is a versatile performer, frequently appearing as a soloist, collaborator, coach, and chamber musician.  She was recently featured in a performance of Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques with the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and has been invited back this season to be the soloist for Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds.   Rachael has also received fellowships to both the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival, where she has worked with conductors such as George Manahan, Tomás Netopil, and Josh Weilerstein.

Rachael has long had an affinity for collaboration with brass, which has led to recital appearances with world-renowned artists such as Jens Lindemann, Gail Williams, Jon Boen, Barbara Butler, and Chris Martin, among others.  Most recently, she has been featured in several world premieres of composer David Sampson’s chamber works, which have been featured live on WFMT in Chicago.  This season also includes an appearance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as part of the Conservatory Project.
 Other recent chamber music appearances include Garth Newel Music Center’s main season chamber series, the Lake Forest Lyrica recital series, and performances with the Allium String Quartet at Symphony Center in Chicago. 

She obtained double bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and piano performance at Johns Hopkins University and Peabody Conservatory, where she was the recipient of the Abrams Double Degree scholarship, studying piano with Yong Hi Moon.  There, she performed as a member of the SONAR Contemporary Music Ensemble and was named the Homewood Campus Distinguished Music Scholar for four years in a row.  As a graduate student, she studied with Sylvia Wang and Elizabeth Buccheri, and was a prizewinner in the 2010 Thaviu-Isaak Piano Competition. 

Rachael is currently an instructor in the Music Studies department at Northwestern and a staff pianist with Northwestern University Opera Theater.  She has previously been on the faculty of Interlochen Arts Center, where she was the coordinator of the collaborative piano department, and the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg.