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Orchestral Technique in action


These guidelines are aimed at string players in the early music scene and focus on orchestral technique and codes of practise. This book gives extensive support and information to student string players starting out in the world of freelance baroque orchestras. It could, of course, be of interest to other orchestral performers.

Rachel Harris, member of the Brook Street Band and director of Ensemble Schirokko Hamburg has collated her many years of experience and observation in this set of guidelines.


Swedish born Rachel Harris began her baroque violin studies at the Welsh College of Music and Drama with Clare Salaman. After completing her studies with distinction she went on to a postgraduate at the Royal College of Music in London with Alison Bury. She was awarded the prestigious Countess of Munster and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarships for her postgraduate studies in England and Germany. Her postgraduate studies were continued in Trossingen and Würzburg, Germany, where she concluded her soloist studies (Solistendiplom) with Gottfried von der Goltz, leader of the Freiburger Barockorchester. She also plays the viola, viola d’amore and viola da gamba. In her free time she plays the horn.

She has performed (also as a soloist) with Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, Cantus Cölln, Lautten Compagney Berlin and La Banda Augsburg, with whom she has made a DVD recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Other ensembles she has played with include the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Florilegium and St. James's Baroque, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Reinlandpfalz.

She has been a member of the English chamber music ensemble The Brook Street Band since 1997 and is the leader and director of Ensemble Schirokko Hamburg, which she formed in 2007. She has produced numerous CDs to critical acclaim with both ensembles.

In 2017 she released her solo CD »augustes auspices«, a complete recording of J.S. Bach’s solo Sonatas and Partitas, as well as J.P. von Westhoff’s six Suites for solo violin. She can be heard regularly in concert with this programme.

As well as teaching privately, she is frequently invited to coach both baroque and modern orchestras and is a regular guest teacher at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg.

Furthermore there is a portrait of Rachel Harris in the book “Hier spielt die Musik! Tonangebende Frauen in der Klassikszene” (“This is where the music is! Leading women in the classical music scene”) by Brigitte Beier and Karina Schmidt, AvivA Verlag, September 2011.

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