Meet the Guest Artists

Rachel Barton Pine

Rachel Barton Pine violin

 "An exciting, boundary-­defying performer – Pine displays a power and confidence that puts her in the top echelon."–  The Washington Post 

“Striking and charismatic… she demonstrated a bravura technique and soulful musicianship”–  The New York Times

In both art and life, violinist Rachel Barton Pine has an extraordinary ability to connect with people. Celebrated as a leading interpreter of great classical works, her performances combine her innate gift for emotional communication and her scholarly fascination with historical research. She plays with passion and conviction across an extensive repertoire. Audiences are thrilled by her dazzling technique, lustrous tone, and infectious joy in music-­making.

Pine’s 2013-­2014 season includes performances with orchestras from Alaska to New Mexico and Vancouver to Montreal. She will continue her annual residency with the Sacramento Philharmonic and perform the complete Mozart violin concertos in subsequent evenings with City Music Cleveland. In March 2014, she will be premiering a new concerto by the Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz with the Alabama Symphony. Throughout the year she will play concertos by Berg, Barber, Brahms, Bruch, Glazunov, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Vivaldi. Pine will offer recitals at Cultura Artistica Itaim in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a performance of the complete Paganini Caprices at the Northwest Bach Festival, and  a program called “Old World, New World” with the cellist Mike Block.

In fall 2013, Cedille Records will issue her album of the Mendelssohn and Schumann Violin Concertos and the Beethoven Romances performed with the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester with Christoph-­Mathias Mueller conducting. In 2014, Sir Neville Marriner, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Pine will celebrate the release of their recording of the five Mozart Violin concertos as well as Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with young violist Matthew Lipman.

Pine has appeared as a soloist with many of North America’s most prestigious ensembles, including the Chicago, Montreal, Atlanta, San Diego, Baltimore, St. Louis and Dallas Symphonies; Buffalo and Rochester Philharmonics, and the Philadelphia and Louisville Orchestras. Overseas, she has performed with the Vienna, New Zealand, Iceland and Budapest Symphonies; the Royal Scottish and Belgian National Orchestras; the Mozarteum, Scottish and Israel Chamber Orchestras; the Royal, Calgary and Russian Philharmonics, and the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie. She has worked with such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, John Nelson, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Neeme Järvi, Marin Alsop, Placido Domingo and Semyon Bychkov.

She has collaborated with many living composers including Augusta Read Thomas, John Corigliano, Luis Jorge González, José Serebrier and Mohammed Fairouz and with such leading artists as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, William Warfield, Christopher O’Riley and Mark O’Connor. She has played for the President of Ghana and the President of Singapore as well as for the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Her past festival appearances have included Marlboro, Wolf Trap and Salzburg and her past recital performances have featured all six Bach Sonatas and Partitas as well as the complete Brahms Sonatas in single evenings. In 2009 she gave the world premiere of the last movement of Samuel Barber's long-­lost 1928 Violin Sonata.

She has performed all 24 Paganini Caprices live in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C. and at Ravinia. Wrote The New York Times of the Paganini concert, “Ms. Pine illuminated the poetic moments within the bombast of the caprices, each of which focuses on a different technical element. She played with soulful élan in No. 2 and in No. 4, with its multiple stops, and deftly conquered the frenetic arpeggios of the fiendish No. 5, which uses a bouncing ricochet bow technique. The weeping trills sounded beautiful in her expressive rendition of the lamentlike No. 6.” The Strad noted “Playing the ‘ex-­Soldat’ del Gesù of 1742, she demonstrated secure technical control and an attractively hearty tone. Each Caprice was effectively characterized.”

Pine is an avid performer of baroque, renaissance and medieval music on baroque violin, viola d’amore, renaissance violin, and rebec. She regularly plays and records with John Mark Rozendaal and David Schrader as the period instrument ensemble Trio Settecento.  In fall 2012 Trio Settecento released An English Fancy on Cedille Records, following up previous installments A French Soirée, An Italian Sojourn, and A German Bouquet, which highlight and celebrate music from the age of Enlightenment. During this season Trio Settecento appears at the Chamber Music Society of Detroit and returns to play at The Frick Collection. Past Trio Settecento dates have included Brome Beaux Arts, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Dumbarton Oaks, the Boston Early Music Festival and Houston Early Music.

Pine writes her own cadenzas to many of the works she performs including concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Paganini. In 2009, Carl Fischer published The Rachel Barton Pine Collection, a collection of original compositions, arrangements, cadenzas and editions penned or arranged by Pine, which earned her the distinction of being the only living artist and first woman to join great musicians like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz in Carl Fischer’s Masters Collection series.  Pine is also music advisor and editor of Maud Powell Favorites, the only published compilation of Powell’s transcriptions, Powell’s cadenza for the Brahms Violin Concerto, and the music dedicated to, commissioned by, or closely associated with Powell, the first native-­born American violinist to achieve international recognition. Pine collaborated with Carl Fischer for its

2011 edition of Franz Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies for the Violin, Book 1 as well as for its fall 2012 edition of Franz Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies for the Violin, Book 2. Both editions contain an accompanying DVD featuring Pine playing all of the etudes.

Pine’s prolific discography of 25 albums on the Cedille, Warner Classics, Hänssler Classics, Naxos and Dorian labels reflects her love of the classical warhorses, as well as her interest in promoting contemporary composers and exploring music that has been unjustifiably neglected. Pine’s April 2013, Violin Lullabies recorded with pianist Matthew Hagle debuted at number one on the Billboard classical chart. This unique collection on Cedille Records includes original lullabies for violin and piano by composers Amy Beach, Faure, Ravel, Sibelius, Stravinsky and Ysaye alongside transcriptions of favorites by Brahms, Gershwin, Schubert and more. Her June 2011 Capricho Latino on Cedille is a stunning collection of 14 unaccompanied virtuoso pieces with a Latin flair, including her own arrangements of Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz’s celebrated Asturias and a medley of tangos by Piazzola.

Pine’s performance of Xavier Montsalvatge’s Poema Concertante for violin and orchestra recorded with the NDR-­Symphony-­Orchestra Hamburg conducted by Maestro Celso Antunes was released in November 2011 by Hänssler Classics as part of an album of Montsalvatge symphonic works. For Beethoven & Clement Violin Concertos, recorded with The Royal Philharmonic conducted by José Serebrier, Pine offered the world premiere recording of Clement’s D Major Violin Concerto, plucked from two centuries of obscurity, which she coupled with the Beethoven Violin Concerto. The cadenzas for the recording were written by Pine. Pine was hand-picked by Serebrier to perform the Glazunov Violin Concerto, joining a number of prestigious artists on the Warner Classics recording of Glazunov Complete Concertos with the Russian National Orchestra.

She intensely researched the musical relationship between Johannes Brahms and violinist Joseph Joachim for Brahms and Joachim Violin Concertos recorded in collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Carlos Kalmar which showcases performances of both Joachim’s and Pine’s own cadenzas for the Brahms Concerto. Her American Virtuosa: Tribute to Maud Powell features rarely-­heard Victorian-­era gems arranged by America’s first internationally acclaimed violinist. Her Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th and 19th Centuries sheds light on four gifted musicians of mixed African and European descent who made significant contributions to Western classical music and was nominated for a National Public Radio Heritage Award.  Pine’s numerous other recordings include works by Liszt, Sarasate, Handel and others.

Pine holds prizes from several of the world’s leading competitions, including a gold medal at the 1992 J.S. Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, Germany. She was the first American and, at age 17, the youngest person to ever win this honor. Other top awards have come from the Queen Elisabeth (Brussels, 1993), Kreisler (Vienna, 1992), Szigeti (Budapest, 1992) and Montreal (1991) International Violin Competitions.

She won prizes for her interpretation of the Paganini Caprices at both the Szigeti Competition and the 1993 Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa.

A fan of rock and heavy metal since her pre-­teens, Pine’s ability to see the connecting threads between classical and rock music makes her the perfect bridge between generations of music fans. Hailed as an artistic ambassador, she often visits rock radio stations and rock clubs to perform her own arrangements of rock and metal songs followed by classical pieces to illustrate how the two genres share a similar intensity and compositional complexity, and to help draw new listeners to classical music. She has created an innovative orchestral initiative aimed at drawing new audience members titled “Shredding with the Symphony” which features pieces by Van Halen, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Metallica as well as Bruch, Berlioz and Shostakovich. In 2009, Pine acquired a custom-­‐made extended range flying V electric violin and formed the six-­piece doom/thrash metal band Earthen Grave. In April 2012, the band released its debut album Earthen Grave, following its critically-­acclaimed five-­song EP Dismal Times.

Pine is committed to encouraging the next generation to experience the transformative power of the arts.  Her Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation assists young artists through various projects including the Instrument Loan Program, Grants for Education and Career, Global HeartStrings (supporting classical musicians in developing countries), and a curricular series in development in conjunction with the University of Michigan: The String Student’s Library of Music by Black Composers. She is a Life Trustee of the Music Institute of Chicago which named the “Rachel Barton Pine Violin Chair” in her honor.

Pine coaches chamber music, leads sectionals for youth orchestras, and gives master classes. Along with touring activities, she enjoys giving special programs and demonstrations for children and often incorporates spoken program notes or pre-­concert conversations into her appearances. She is a frequent instructor at Mark O’Connor’s Fiddle Camp and the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp. She received the prestigious 2006 Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award for her work in music education.

She was a torchbearer in the 1996 Olympic torch relay and that same year performed at the Democratic National Convention. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, appeared five times on NBC’s Today Show, and frequently has been a guest on nationally-­syndicated radio shows including Performance Today and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. Recent cover stories include Strad, Strings and International Musician.

A Chicago native, Pine began violin studies at age three and made her professional debut four years later at age seven with the Chicago String Ensemble. Her earliest appearances with the Chicago Symphony (at ages ten and fifteen) were broadcast on television. Her principal teachers were Roland and Almita Vamos and she has also studied with Ruben Gonzalez, Werner Scholz, Elmira Darvarova and several early music specialists.  Pine resides in Chicago with her husband and daughter. She performs on the Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu (Cremona 1742), known as the “ex-­Soldat,” on generous loan from her patron.

For more information please visit rachelbartonpine.com 

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