Cellist Rachael Lander and More to Be Featured on ADDICTS' SYMPHONY

August 26
2:23 2014
Cellist Rachael Lander and More to Be Featured on ADDICTS' SYMPHONY

On August 27 at 11pm on Channel 4, Addicts' Symphony will air, which discusses the highly respectable world of classical musicians linked to addictive behaviour. Composer, musician and recovering alcoholic James McConnel brings together ten classical musicians whose lives have been blighted by addiction for a spectacular one-off musical performance.

One of those musicians is cellist, Rachael Lander. Rachael is the progeny of two classical musicians who divorced and remarried two more classical musicians. She has tried her hand at several other professions (the real low point being in the parking permit department at a South London borough council) but her heart wasn't in it. Her destiny was to play the cello for a living.

Rachael began to play the cello at the age of 8 and immediately fell in love with the instrument and the repertoire. She became a junior at the Royal Northern College of Music at the age of fourteen and started playing regular recitals in and around the North West of England. It was her four year stint in the National Youth Orchestra which included yearly performances at the BBC Proms, world class conductors and a cello section of 18 players that cemented her ambition to play professionally and Rachael always assumed that like her parents, she would become an orchestral musician. However, while Rachael was completing her studies at the RNCM, Manchester, she was assailed with debilitating performance anxiety, which deteriorated over the course of five years. Eventually, Rachael stopped performing and celebrated her graduation by putting the cello in its case indefinitely and getting a job as a waitress. She'd also developed a destructive habit of medicating her anxiety with prescription drugs and alcohol, which almost led to her demise. At twenty three, her CV read "inebriated waitress", which is not what she envisaged as a bright eyed fifteen year old in the Royal Albert Hall.

Follow Rachael's journey on her own website and blog at:, and tune in to Addicts' Symphony here:


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