Praised for her “Gleaming tone and Hollywood glamour” (Chicago Classical Review), Rachel Brown is a Chicago-based chamber musician, soloist, orchestral performer,  educator, and arts administrator. 

After three years as a regular member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she is now the Associate Principal Second Violin of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and also performs with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, American Music Festivals Orchestra, and Fort Wayne Philharmonic. She appears regularly as Concertmaster of the Folks Operetta Orchestra. Previously, she held the Associate Concertmaster chair with the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Brown is currently the Executive Director of the Chicago-based chamber group, Ursa Ensemble, of which she is also a founding member. The group focuses on engaging unique audiences in the chamber music repertoire by working with collaborative artists and curating programs that directly involve the listener. The Ursa ensemble has performed at a variety of locations across the Midwest including Constellation Chicago, Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, The Green Mill Jazz Lounge, DePaul University School of Music, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the DANK Haus, Tavern of Fine Arts, The Musical Offering, Uncommon Ground, PianoForte Studios, and the Narloch Piano Studio. They have been highlighted in festivals such as Chicago Artists Month, The Ravenswood Art Walk, Narlochpolooza, and the Thirsty Ears Festival.  

In addition, Ms Brown is a frequent guest on the acclaimed LoftRecital series in Minneapolis. Equally inspired by music outside the classical world, Rachel has performed with popular music and jazz artists ranging from Ben Folds to Michael Bublé, The Eagles, and Sarah Brightman.   

Rachel is dedicated to continuing the existence of art music by performing and commissioning contemporary works.  She has given countless world premiers, has performed with ensembles such as Ensemble Dal Niente, Fifth House Ensemble, and Eighth Blackbird, and has worked with world-renowned composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, Bernard Rands, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Rodolfo Acosta, Pierce Gradone, Jeff Kowalkowski, George Flynn, and Mathias Spahlinger.

Extremely devoted to educating future generations of musicians and music-lovers, Rachel is the Music Department Chair at the Chicago Academy for the Arts. Additionally, she is a violin instructor at The Musical Offering. Previously, she held instructor positions at Truman College and Harold Washington College, two of the City Colleges of Chicago.

Ms. Brown holds a Certificate of Performance and a Master of Music degree from DePaul University’s School of Music, where she studied with Ilya Kaler and held the Concertmaster chair of the school’s elite Symphony Orchestra. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she studied with Lenora Anop, and was the only student in history to twice win the school’s annual Concerto Competition.  Additionally, Rachel holds a High School Diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy.