A National Symphony cellist since 1998, Rachel Young brings a deep and diverse musical background to her work, ranging from an avid engagement in chamber music to a strong interest in new music. Praised by the Washington Post for her “open musicality and finely wrought tone”, she is a member of the Last Stand Quartet and the 21st Century Consort. Prior to joining the Symphony, Ms. Young was principal cellist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. An enthusiastic chamber musician, performances include appearances with the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, Garth Newel Music Center, the Odeon Chamber Series, the Strathmore Mansion, the John F. Kennedy Center, the White House, and the American Embassy in Madrid, as well as on radio stations WGMS and WGBH. Young has also enjoyed occasional forays into new arenas, collaborating with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, movie producer Bill McKenna, songwriter Randy Barrett, and saxophonist Al Regni.
Ms. Young was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She began studying music at the age of 4, and quickly knew she wanted to become a cellist. In high school, she was exposed to the contemporary cello repertoire and loved it. She went on to play with the Contemporary Music Ensemble at the Peabody Institute and found the challenge and discovery of performing contemporary music incredibly rewarding. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Laurence Lesser, and her Master’s degree in cello performance with Stephen Kates at the Peabody Conservatory. She was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and attended the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in England where she studied with William Pleeth. Young is a teaching artist with the National Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Fellowship and SMI programs. She serves on the board of the Kindler Cello Society and the 21st Century Consort. Residing just outside of Washington with her husband, bassist Anthony Manzo, their 2 children, 3 basses, 3 cellos and three cats, Young often commutes to work on her bike.