Rachel Thomson enjoys a varied career as a chamber musician, teacher and collaborative pianist. She began her piano studies with her mother before continuing with Judith Clark, going on to complete a B.Mus (Hons) and a BA in English Literature at Victoria University. As a recipient of both an Arts Council grant and a Fulbright Graduate Award, she went on to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, gaining a Masters then Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance.
Rachel has won various awards both at home and in the United States, including the NZ National Concerto Competition (1993) and the East Central Division of the MTNA Young Artist Competition (USA, 1997). However her heart has always been in collaborative work, with part of her overseas study specialising in piano duo. Chamber music continues to be one of the most enjoyable elements of her career, and since her return to New Zealand Rachel has been part of a number of ensembles to tour under the auspices of Chamber Music New Zealand. More recently she has formed the Koru Trio, a piano trio with NZSO members Anne Loeser and Sally Isaac.
Rachel has been a national recording artist for Concert FM, and also recorded for Trust Records with flutist Bridget Douglas. She has worked as an orchestral pianist with the NZSO for many years, and has also worked with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington. She runs a busy teaching studio in Wellington, and is an active member of the IRMTNZ.