Rachel Siu (2015)

Young Alumnae Award: International Achievement

Rachel is an emerging highly regarded cellist. In 2019 she took out first prize in the 2019 “Getting to Carnegie” international competition, making her solo debut there. She later won a joint gold medal prize at the VIII David Popper International Cello Competition in Várpalota, Hungary and was also a prize winner at the IX Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition in Morelia, Mexico. Although Rachel graduated from The Juilliard School in New York with her Bachelor’s degree last year, she was invited back to pursue her post graduate degree, with the generous Kovner Fellowship, offered to only one incoming cellist that year.

Rachel left for Juilliard the day after she finished at MLC School. ‘I left directly for New York after finishing up at MLC School. My last day at school was considered the night of the Sydney Opera House Concert, and I couldn’t have imagined a more lovely last day spent.’

Reflections

What would you say are your three proudest achievements?

I would say that the achievement in realising that music was exactly what I wanted to be pursuing, especially as I went through several years of contemplation during my time at MLC School, was what started it all. I made the realisation and put my all in pursing it and aiming for success. Another achievement I am proud of, would be winning the David Popper International Cello Competition in Hungary last November, and all my other success in 2019. It felt like a small recognition for all my time and effort I had dedicated to pursuing this career. A third achievement I am most proud of, is more of a general achievement. Over time, I have received a number of messages from young musicians who have let me know I am an inspiration to them. In the end, that is what many of us aim to achieve. To inspire a new generation, and to let them know it is possible!

How did an MLC School education play a role in your life?

MLC School was terribly supportive of my career during my years there. I was given so much flexibility to focus on music, and my teachers were very understanding of my extra-curricular activities. Amongst this, I was also able to discover subjects I genuinely loved with teachers who cured a love for such. Especially mathematics, which I occasionally tap into, and constantly consider taking on as a second major.