Rachel Mercer

Rachel Mercer has been described as a "pure chamber musician" (Globe and Mail) creating "moments of pure magic" (Toronto Star). She is cellist of Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, the Seiler Trio, and is Artistic Director of the 5 at the First Chamber Music Series in Hamilton.

Rachel can be heard on the Naxos, Dalia Classics and EnT-T record labels, and released a critically-acclaimed album of the Bach Suites on Pipistrelle (2014), recorded on the 1696 Bonjour Stradivarius Cello from the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank.

Rachel has given master classes across North America, South Africa and in Israel and with Ensemble Made In Canada is Artist-in-Residence at Western University in London, Ontario.

Past Winner, Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank:

2012-2015: 1769 Joannes Guillami cello

2009-2012: 1696 Bonjour Stradivarius cello

2006-2009: 1824 McConnell Nicolaus Gagliano cello

1730 Newland Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus cello

This magnificent cello was made from black Italian poplar, rather than the more often used maple. The softer wood and the way it was cut on a slab is flexible and supple, creating a rich alto sound, like a low rumble on stage. It is believed to be a twin of another cello created from the same tree, currently owned by the Royal Academy of Music in London.

  • Purchased by the Canada Council for the Arts (with funds from the Edith Davis Webb endowment)
  • Acquired: 2011
  • Value: $800,000.