Rachael Worby is the Artistic Director, Conductor and Founder of MUSE/IQUE – a counter-conventional orchestra based in Pasadena, California.
She is one of the first highly successful female conductors of national and international renown, a preeminent figure in American arts education, and an innovative force in reimagining traditional performance formats.
When Worby founded MUSE/IQUE in 2011, she had a very clear vision. She wanted to bring a fresh perspective to live music and multidisciplinary arts. She wanted accessibility to be key. Moreover, she wanted to tear down the barriers of traditional concert-going and take the music to the people. But the music itself had to be free of constraints and tradition.
MUSE/IQUE’s mission began with the idea that live music and orchestra could be all about unexpected connections -- both cross-cultural and cross-genre -- and that the goal of accessibility could be realized by mixing repertoires and performance modes in very unexpected locations and non-traditional, non-fixed venues. MUSE/IQUE aims to redefine the notion of civic orchestra by placing orchestral events in familiar public spaces thus heightening the connection to place.
Another notable facet of MUSE/IQUE’s work is Worby's style of direct communication with the audiences and a unique curatorial approach to mixing together an eclectic range of artists and styles.
Distinguished as a visionary in the orchestral world, she is celebrated internationally for her extraordinary talents and exuberant style, as well as her versatile command of all musical genres. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “inspiring and accessible” she is an unforgettable, inspiring and charismatic presence on the podium. She is in demand as a guest conductor and has led orchestras throughout Europe, South America, Australia and Asia.
Worby rose to fame during her 17-year tenure as Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra in Wheeling, West Virginia. She served as Music Director and Conductor of the Young Peoples Program at Carnegie Hall in New York and was also Music Director and Conductor for the Pasadena POPS for 10 years. During her tenure at Pasadena Pops she increased the number of concerts and audience attendance, and instituted free-to-the-public concerts on the steps of Pasadena City Hall.
She expanded outreach programs to underserved communities, securing significant funding for programs in South Central Los Angeles and in Pasadena. Under her leadership, MUSE/IQUE founded the KIDS/IQUE program that focuses on strengthening self-worth through music in underprivileged youth.