American pianist Rachel Naomi Kudo is captivating audiences around the globe with her "heartfelt, courageous and perfect playing” (Lübecker Nachrichten) and as a “thrilling” artist with “the highest artistic claim who demonstrates a perfection of technique and precision down to the smallest motivic detail” (Die Rheinpfalz).

Following her orchestral debut with the Chicago and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, Rachel has performed as both soloist and chamber musician at venues including the Bachfest in Leipzig, Royal Castle in Warsaw, Salle Cortot in Paris, Musikverein in Vienna, Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel, International Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland, Tivoli International Festival in Denmark, Bergen International Festival in Norway, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall, and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York.

She is a winner of the Gilmore Young Artist Award, a Davidson Fellow Laureate of the Davidson Institute of Talent Development, and a Salon de Virtuosi Grant. Additionally, she earned scholarships from the National YoungArts Foundation and Rohm Music Foundation, and has won numerous top prizes at the U.S. National Chopin Competition in Miami, and a diploma at the 15th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. In 2018, Rachel won first prize at the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig.

Born in Washington, D.C., to Japanese-Korean parents, Rachel began her studies with Emilio del Rosario at the Music Institute of Chicago. After spending her childhood in Japan, she returned to Chicago to pursue a musical life, playing chamber music and violin in her high school orchestra, appearing on From the Top on NPR, also studying with Kum-Sing Lee in Vancouver, Canada.

Rachel received the Arthur Rubinstein Prize, Chopin Prize, Sanders/Tel Aviv Art Museum Prize, and Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship under the tutelage of Yoheved Kaplinsky and Joseph Kalichstein at The Juilliard School. She continued to work with Richard Goode at Mannes College of Music, Gilbert Kalish at Stony Brook University, and Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

She received guidance in master classes of Robert Levin, and from Emanuel Ax and Sir András Schiff at Carnegie Hall's Professional Training Workshops. Aspen Music Festival and School, Juilliard ChamberFest, International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove, Music@Menlo, Perlman Music Program’s Chamber Music Workshop, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s “Chamber Music Encounters,” and New York Classical Players enriched and broadened her musical horizons.

Rachel believes in sharing the transformative power of music with the widest possible audience to foster cultural engagement and human connection. As an educator, she is passionate about mentoring the next generation of young musicians and has taught master classes worldwide. She was recently engaged as a live stream host for the U.S. National Chopin and Cliburn Junior International Piano Competitions. In February 2021, in a Virtual Special Event for The Gilmore, Rachel presented the world premiere of Marc-André Hamelin’s Suite à l'ancienne, which she commissioned with her funding from the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.