Rachel Smith: Classical recording producer

Born into a family of professional musicians, Rachel Smith has been immersed in music since her earliest days. A cellist, pianist and singer, she read Music at Cambridge University, where she was an Intercollegiate Instrumental Award-holder (cello) and a Choral Exhibitioner at Girton College.

On leaving Cambridge, Rachel joined Meridian Records, progressing within six months to become the sole Producer and Editor of the company. Two years and many recordings later she moved to KOCH International UK, where, as Classical Manager, she handled all aspects of marketing and promotion of twelve distributed labels.

Having cultivated a rounded knowledge of the industry, Rachel was offered the post of Producer and Editor at Chandos Records, where she remained for eight years.  Responsible for hundreds of discs, she forged lasting relationships with soloists including Tasmin Little, Michael Collins, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and James Ehnes, which continue today. The late Richard Hickox insisted that Rachel edit all his recordings, stating that ‘In all my time for Chandos, and previously for EMI, Decca, Virgin, etc, I can honestly say that Rachel has been the most thorough and talented editor with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work’.

In 2006, Rachel formed her own production company. Since its inception, Ophelia Productions has built a strong reputation for producing high-quality recordings, with clients including Avie, Chandos, Decca, Harmonia Mundi, Hyperion, Naxos, Signum, Sony and Wigmore Hall Live.

Consistently praised and sought out for her calm manner, astute judgement and impeccable ear, Rachel has brought her own work ethic to everything she does: an innate understanding of every individual artist; a focus on helping artists to fulfil their musical goals in a calm and supportive atmosphere; and a marriage of exceptional attention to detail with an overall sense of what is most important in the music. It is these qualities that have gained her the esteem and trust of so many world-class musicians.

E-mail: rsmith@opheliaproductions.com