Meet the Guest Artists

Rachel Barton Pine

Rachel Barton Pine violin

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

Pine’s 2017-18 season includes performances of concertos by Brahms, Bruch, Khachaturian, Korngold, Mozart, Paganini, Prokofiev, Vivaldi, and Wieniawski, with orchestras including the Sacramento Philharmonic, the Anchorage Symphony, the Eugene Symphony, the Orquestra Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, the Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Israel Tel Aviv Soloists. In January 2018 she offers the world premiere of the Marcus Goddard Violin Concerto with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. 

This season Pine celebrates important contributions to classical music made by musicians of African descent at Ladies’ Morning Musical Club (LMMC) in Montreal and the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington.  At Early Music Seattle she performs all of Bach’s unaccompanied sonatas and partitas. Her recital programs also include single evening concerts of the complete Brahms Sonatas and the 24 Paganini Caprices.   

Pine dedicates her January 2018 Avie recording of the Elgar and Bruch Violin Concertos, recorded with the BBC Symphony and Maestro Andrew Litton, to Sir Neville Marriner, who was originally scheduled for the project. In May 2018, Pine joins harpsichordist Jory Vinikour on Six Sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach (Cedille).  

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

The many contemporary composers with whom she has collaborated include Augusta Read Thomas, John Corigliano, Luis Jorge González, José Serebrier, and Mohammed Fairouz. She premiered Rush for solo violin by Thomas, as well as  Native Informant for Solo Violin and Al-Andalus Violin Concerto by Fairouz, and offered the Panamanian premiere of Roque Cordero's 1962 Violin Concerto. Earlier in 2017, Pine premiered  American Partitas, a recital program of newly commissioned suites of dance movements by Bruce Molsky, Darol Anger, Billy Childs and Daniel Bernard Roumain, partnered with the Bach Partitas for solo violin.  In 2009, she gave the world premiere of the last movement of Samuel Barber's long-lost 1928 Violin Sonata, as well as a sonata fragment by Beethoven in 2005. Her past festival appearances have included Marlboro, Wolf Trap, Vail, Ravinia, Davos, and Salzburg.

Notably for contemporary violinists, Pine writes her own cadenzas to many of the works she performs including for 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, making her the only living artist and first woman to join 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, cadenza for the Brahms Violin Concerto, and the music dedicated to, commissioned by, or closely associated with Powell. Pine and Karen Shaffer, founder of the Maud Powell Society for Music and Education, successfully campaigned the Recording Academy to award a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award to Maud Powell. 

Pine has a prolific discography of 36 albums on the Avie, Cedille, Warner Classics, and Dorian labels. She began an exploration of beloved violin concertos and the concertos that inspired them with Brahms and Joachim Violin Concertos, recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Carlos Kalmar. Her Beethoven & Clement Violin Concertos, with The Royal Philharmonic conducted by José Serebrier, offered the world premiere recording of Clement’s D Major Violin Concerto.

Pine’s Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach (Avie, 2016) and Violin Lullabies (Cedille, 2013) charted at number one on the Billboard Classical chart. Her Mozart: Complete Violin Concerto, Sinfonia Concertante with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Sir Neville Marriner (Avie, 2015) and her Bel Canto Paganini: 24 Caprices and other works for solo violin (Avie, 2017) hit number three. Her Violin Concertos by Black Composers of the 18th and 19th Centuries celebrates musicians of African, and earned a National Public Radio Heritage Award nomination. 

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.  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 additional accolades for her interpretation of the Paganini Caprices at both the Szigeti Competition and the 1993 Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa.  

Her Rachel Barton Pine Foundation assists young artists through various projects, including the Instrument Loan Program, Grants for Education and Career, Global HeartStrings (supporting musicians in developing countries), and a curricular series in development with the University of Michigan: Music by Black Composers. Pine resides in Chicago. She performs on the “ex-Bazzini, ex-Soldat” Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu (Cremona, 1742), on lifetime loan from her anonymous patron. 



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