Have you ever felt mystified or confused by some vast piece of classical music? Wanted to ask questions but felt you didn’t know enough to speak up? Sat through a classical concert and desperately wanted to learn more about the music?  Concert pianist Rachel Franklin is all about changing that.

Over the past decade Rachel has developed a stellar reputation as a speaker about classical music.  Renowned for her wit, scholarship and ability to illuminate even the most complex concert works, her gifts for communication have led to countless lecturing engagements including such prestigious venues as the Smithsonian Institution, The Library of Congress, and the Peabody Institute.  Rachel has also appeared on over two dozen broadcasts about music for National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

Feeling strongly that the traditional classical concert format should offer listeners a more enriching, informative experience, Rachel began changing her recital programs to include demonstrations and stories about the composers, and introducing jazz selections to the mix.

Besides appreciating her performing artistry, her audiences rave enthusiastically about her warm and engaging style as she gives unique illustrations on the piano. Whether it is a 30 minute pre-concert lecture, a lecture-recital, or a full-length adult outreach course, Rachel Franklin focuses on the sheer joy and passion of great music so the audience can discover personal connections with its creative force.

Dr. Franklin is keenly aware of the need to reach out to listeners, and can offer many types of lecture-demonstrations, courses and lecture-recital packages. She also enjoys curating musical events and festivals, and all her presentations are designed to suit a wide variety of venues and audiences. She is always delighted to discuss possibilities with music-lovers and organizations.


British-born pianist Rachel Franklin is much in demand as performer, music lecturer and teacher. As a Pro Musicis International Award winner, she gave her solo debuts in Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, and Jordan Hall, Boston. The Boston Globe enthused about her “beautiful differentiations of color, touch and texture” and described a performance on her solo debut CD as “not inferior…to the recorded performances by Cortot and Rubinstein.” She has also given European Pro Musicis solo debuts in Paris and Rome. At the Wigmore Hall, London, where she has given several recitals, critics applauded her “stunning individuality,” “exquisite dynamic control,” and “amazing power and solidity of technique.” The Washington Post has praised her “cool-headed bravura and panache.” Following a widely acclaimed recent chamber concert with members of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Sun wrote: “Franklin demonstrated a flawless crystalline technique, and warmth and electricity in her playing.”

As a soloist and ensemble artist, she has concertized in Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, Canada and the US, and her chamber music recordings can be found on such labels as Sony and Sonoris. Among Rachel Franklin’s many awards are top prizes in the Florence International Chamber Music Competition and the Louise B. McMahon International Music Competition. Her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, on WQXR and WNYC in New York, WJHU in Baltimore, and Radio Telefis Eireann in Ireland. In addition, she has been the subject of a feature on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” with whom she has given frequent spoken broadcasts. She is doubly talented as an accomplished jazz pianist, having performed with many jazz ensembles, and she is the founder and artistic director of the classical/jazz chamber ensemble SONOS.

Deeply committed to musical outreach and education, Rachel Franklin also enjoys a busy dual career as a popular music lecturer, giving courses and pre-concert lectures for such venues as the Library of Congress, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Smithsonian Associate Program and American University among many others. As an extension of this work she was awarded a prestigious grant by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, to develop her unique new website, “Speaking Of Music.” This is a video blog, featuring short films of Dr. Franklin discussing and demonstrating well-known pieces of concert music and has just been launched.

She is a highly respected teacher and a Faculty Member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, frequently being invited to give master classes and judge competitions for gifted young musicians throughout the region. Her own teachers have included Louis Kentner, Irina Zaritskaya, and Ann Schein with whom she gained her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. As a child, she studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and subsequently at the Royal College of Music, London, and the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv University, where she won First Prize in the school’s piano competition and received highest honors upon graduation.