Rachyl Duffy, Viola & Violin

Violist Rachyl Duffy burst onto the classical music scene on both coasts in 2015 by taking top prize in both the International Hugo Kauder Competition for Viola and the prestigious Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition in the span of five months. With the Hugo Kauder Society’s encouragement and contribution, Rachyl created a music video of her winning performance of Kauder’s Kleine Suite fur Viola Solo with filmmaker Brandon Massey and NJM Media. Rachyl has also performed as soloist with orchestras in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and North Carolina, and has attended summer festivals such as The Yale Summer School of Music – Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the International Ensemble Modern Academy Klangspuren Festival in Schwaz, Austria.

A dedicated chamber musician, Rachyl has collaborated with artists including Augustin Hadelich, Scott St. John, James Dunham, Weigang Li, Orion Weiss, Melvin Chen, Jeffrey Kahane, Atar Arad, and Paul Coletti. She also organizes her own chamber music performances whenever possible, such as her May 2019 viola quartet set at the ShapeShifter Lab. Rachyl has performed frequently with the Mimesis Ensemble in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the United Nations, performing the works of lesser-heard voices. She has also founded the fledgling Ensemble Elevate and Elevate Music Collective, dedicated to unique performances and enthusiastic education.

A devoted teacher, Rachyl has been passionate about both education and outreach since she was twelve years old. Her primary teaching background is in The Suzuki Method, beginning ca. 2005 under the mentorship of Shelley Beard and continuing with long-term training at the prestigious School for Strings in New York with Allen Lieb. As Violin and Viola Faculty, Rachyl taught lessons at the Brooklyn Music School from 2017-19. In addition to maintaining her own private teaching studios since 2012, she has also taught through many programs and institutions, including: the Kneisel Hall Program for Maine Students, the Porterville Summer Strings Program for underprivileged youth, the Bellingham Music Festival, various Music School of Delaware workshops, and the Colburn School’s Para Los Niños outreach program in Los Angeles. Rachyl has also served as teaching assistant to Sheila Browne, Gina Coletti, David Winkelman, and Shelley Beard through the Colburn Conservatory of Music, UNCSA, and the Music School of Delaware respectively. She is also affiliated with Mozart for Munchkins, which brings high-quality music to families in a relaxed, fun, and interactive environment. In addition, Rachyl enjoys coaching orchestras and chamber groups, and teaching students of all levels, ages, and abilities, including students with special needs such as those on the Autism Spectrum.

While completing her Master of Music degree with Paul Coletti at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where she was a Teaching Fellow under Robert Duke, Rachyl joined the San Diego Symphony in 2016. Before this, she became the youngest member of the Winston-Salem Symphony in 2012 while completing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied with Sheila Browne on full scholarship (William R. Kenan, Jr. Scholarship). 

Rachyl plays on a 2002 viola by Robert W. McCluskie