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Racheli Galay
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Cellist Racheli Galay is an international musician, performing worldwide as soloist and chamber musician. Her repertoire encompasses baroque through contemporary music, klezmer and improvisation.
Ms. Galay is an active soloist in Europe, South America, Israel and the U.S. In a special concert celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the State of Israel (1998), Ms. Galay performed J. Ch. Bach’s Concerto in C minor, and D. Galay’s In Memoriam with the Rosario Chamber Orchestra at the Teatro El Circulo, Rosario, Argentina. She later paired D. Galay’s In Memoriam with the Haydn Cello Concerto in C for a Lublin Philharmonic performance in 2007. Since her radiant performance of the Haydn Cello Concerto in C with The Soloists of Israel in 1997, Racheli continues to enchant audiences in Europe and the U.S. with her interpretations of Haydn’s cello concertos. Racheli has toured Hungary with the Szolnok Symphony performing D. Galay’s Cello Concerto in Budapest, Szolnok and Veszprem. In 1998, she performed the powerful cello concerto Drammatico by Milko Kelemen with the Zagreb Philharmonic.
In the States, Ms. Galay has performed Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei with the Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, IL. She has performed the Dvorak and Lalo Cello Concertos with the orchestras of Indiana University. In the 2009-10 season, Ms. Galay will be soloist with the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra, performing the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto.
Racheli Galay’s integrity and agility make her a frequent dedicatee of new works by composers throughout the world: Italian composer Aldo Brizzi’s For Racheli for cello solo; Junichi Steven Sato’s Variations on a Japanese Air "Kojo No Tsuki”; Daniel Galay’s Cello Concerto, his Ballade for Bow and Oyf di Shpitz Finger for solo cello, and Israeli composer Yoram Meyouhas Metamorphoses dedicated to Duo Galay. Racheli also premiered D. Galay’s original music to the story My Father Joins the Fire Brigade by Bruno Schultz at the Bruno Schultz Festival in the Ukraine, May 2008. She premiered and recorded Aurelia for unaccompanied cello by Moroccan-French composer Ahmed Essyad during the international contemporary music festival Musica in Strasbourg, 1994. Ms. Galay was featured cello soloist in Essyad’s chamber opera Le Collier des Ruses also presented at festival Musica, and recorded for the K617 CD label. Israeli Radio recorded Racheli’s premiere of Jewish Sonata by Russian-Israeli composer Emanuel Val. Ms. Galay performed the Israeli premiere of Spring Song for cello solo by Augusta Read Thomas in live broadcast at the Etnachta recital series, Jerusalem.
Racheli regularly performs as a chamber musician. In spring 2004, she participated in the performance of Heitor Villa-Lobos’ cello octet Bachianas Brasilieras led by Vermeer Quartet cellist Marc Johnson and Lyric Opera soprano Nicole Cabell at the Chicago Cultural Center. She was chosen as cellist for the specially-formed EDU Quartet in performances and live broadcast of Elgar’s Piano Quintet in conjunction with the Elgar 150th anniversary celebration in 2007. Racheli joined Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s horn player Gail Williams, and faculty members of the Music Institute of Chicago in the performance of Robert Schumann’s Quintet for two pianos, two cellos and horn at Nichols Hall, Evanston, IL, 2007. In spring 2009, Ms. Galay performed Mario Davidovsky’s Romanceros for voice and ensemble at Northern Illinois University with NIU faculty and Mathias Tacke, violinist of the Vermeer Quartet. Racheli has presented Jewish and Israeli chamber music programs with mezzo-soprano and distinguished cantor, Deborah Bard, and collaborated in a mixed media performance with dancer Yael Levitin of the Hubbard Street Dance Company. In spring 2009, Racheli performed the Clarinet Trios of Brahms, Bruch, and Stutschewsky at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with clarinetist Gregory Barrett and pianist Ruti Abramovitch. She also presented Brahms’ Sonatensatz and Brahms’ Clarinet Trio for live broadcast on WFMT classical radio, Chicago, in June 2009. Racheli also works with pianist Saori Chiba, recently presenting Barber’s Cello Sonata at the Ossia Fine Arts Space in Chicago, May 2009.
Ms. Galay received a DM in Cello from Northwestern University, completing her dissertation on the music of cellist and composer Joachim Stutschewsky. She earned a MM in Cello from Indiana University, a BA in musicology, magna cum laude, from the University of Tel-Aviv, and Diploma from the Strasbourg National Conservatory. Her primary teachers were Hans Jørgen Jensen, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Janos Starker, and Emmanuel Gruber. Racheli plays a beautiful, rare, English cello of the 18th century.
Racheli was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Israeli Youth Philharmonic, and played under the batons of Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Sir Andrew Davis, Sergiu Comissiona, Pavle Despalj and Piotr Wijatkowski.
Racheli Galay is a Chicago-based cellist. She is currently Assistant Professor of Cello at VanderCook College and on the music faculty at ChiArts, Chicago’s new High-School for the Arts. Ms. Galay is co-author of the groundbreaking book “Galay Improvisation Method for String Orchestra.” She also directs the Chicago Improvisation Institute at the Music Institute of Chicago. The CII gives players and singers of all ages an opportunity to learn innovative techniques in improvisation.
Racheli has been praised for her “rich temperament, technical ability and delicate touch - creating a beautiful sound.” Conductor Kim Diehnelt calls Ms. Galay, “A fiery player. She sings with her cello from deep within…a compelling musician.”

Racheli Galay
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