Harpist Rachel Brandwein is Adjunct Faculty in Music at Luther College and Instructor of Harp at the College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University, and teaches harp and piano at Mount Calvary Academy of Music. Among her performing and musical composition accomplishments are first prizes and grants in numerous regional and national competitions sponsored by Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity, the American Harp Society, and the American String Teachers Association. She is the Winner of the 2014 Mu Phi Epsilon International Solo Competition.
A featured soloist at the Ninth World Harp Congress in Dublin, Ireland, Rachel also toured China with the Juilliard Orchestra. Since moving from New York to Minnesota in the fall of 2012, she has performed with ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra and Philip Brunelle's VocalEssence. She enjoys performing recitals of original and arranged works with her trombone partner, Dr. David Peterson in the Branderson Duo. In 2015 they will world premiere a work written for their duo by Dr. Paul Salerni as a result of winning a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. In the fall of 2013, Rachel embarked on a nine state, fifteen concert tour with Trio Matisse (flute, harp, cello) as part of the Allied Concert Services Tours and is continuing to perform with the trio.
The American Harp Society invited Rachel to perform a full recital of her own compositions at the 2014 National Conference in New Orleans. An avid composer, she has presented her works in the Composer's Concerts at The Juilliard School and at Stony Brook University as part of the Composer Concert Recital Series. They have also been performed at the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Kansas State University, and at the Interlochen Center for the Arts where she serves on the harp faculty for the summer camp programs.
Rachel earned degrees from the University of Michigan (BM), The Juilliard School (MM), and Stony Brook University (DMA), and also studied harp and French for one year in Paris and Lyon, France. After performing at her doctoral commencement, she was awarded the prestigious Ackerman Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies for excellence in performance and pedagogy. As a dynamic music teacher, Rachel's goal is to help each student appreciate and fulfill his or her artisitic potential with confidence, creativity, and dedication.