Meet The Performers

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Strings - Violin

Rachel Goldstein


A loss for geology turned into a win for music when Rachel Goldstein decided to stick to music at a critical juncture in her life.

Born in Iowa City, Iowa, Goldstein began her violin studies there at the age of 5. At 16, she entered the music school of the State University of New York at Purchase. Midway through her studies, she switched her major to geology, but after six months she knew that the violin was her true calling. Resuming her musical studies, Goldstein graduated from Purchase at the age of 19 and went on to earn a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her teachers included Felix Galimir and Isadore Tinkleman. Before joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1989, she was a member of the Sacramento Symphony for two years.

Rachel is married to CSO bassist Stephen Lester. Her hobbies include wildlife photography, knitting and grooming Dexter and Prince, her standard poodles.

September 2012

This biography is based on information provided by the artist, ensemble or representatives thereof and may only be as current as the artist’s or ensemble’s most recent performance at Symphony Center.