Violist Rachel Riese, originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, has been studying the viola for ten years under a variety of acclaimed teachers and pedagogues, including Rose Armbrust-Griffin, Helen Breitenbach Cooper, and Charles Pikler, long-time principal violist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She currently studies with Sally Chisholm, violist of the Pro Arte Quartet, and is in her second year of undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A full-tuition scholarship recipient, she is pursuing a degree in viola performance and linguistics with a certificate in German language. An enthusiastic chamber musician, she has been an active participant in the School of Music’s chamber music program, receiving weekly coachings from Prof. Parry Karp, cellist of the Pro Arte Quartet, and performing in masterclasses for Soh-Hyun Park Altino, David Perry, and other members of the UW faculty.
In January 2019, she received the opportunity to work with members of Decoda, the affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall, during their residency at UW-Madison. This enlightening experience culminated with a community engagement performance at a local elementary school. Prior to her chamber experiences at UW-Madison, Rachel was a student of the intensive chamber music program at Midwest Young Artists Conservatory in Highwood, Illinois, where she received coachings from Mathias Tacke of the Vermeer Quartet, Allan Dennis, and Robert Bassill.
At MYAC she was fortunate to perform in the Chicago Youth in Music Festival Orchestra in both 2015 and 2016 under maestros Riccardo Muti, Cliff Colnot, and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. As a member of an MYAC string quartet, she won first place at the 89.9 WDAV National Young Chamber Musicians Competition at Davidson College, NC in May 2015.
Currently, outside of chamber music at Madison, Rachel performs in the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra and is currently Principal Violist of the UW opera orchestra. She is also employed as the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra librarian.