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 2018-19 season includes concerts with the Columbus, Phoenix, Ann Arbor, Princeton, Hilton Head, Springfield, Chippewa Valley, and Illinois Symphonies; the New Mexico and Reno Philharmonics; the Heartland Festival, Philharmonia Baroque, and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestras; Mercury Houston, Orchestra Kentucky, and Syracuse Symphoria. Internationally, she performs with Belo Horizonte and Teatro Municipal (Sao Paolo) Orchestras, Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, and the Tel Aviv Soloists, and undertakes a residency at Domaine Forget. At Québec’s prestigious Festival Lanaudiere, she performed “American Partitas” – a recital program of suites of dance movements composed for Pine by Bruce Molsky, Darol Anger, Billy Childs, and Daniel Bernard Roumain, paired with the Bach Partitas for solo violin.
Galvanized by the fact that young people learning classical music seldom have the opportunity to study and perform music written by Black composers, Pine’s RBP Foundation’s “Music by Black Composers” project has made it its mission to supplement current instrumental training methods by publishing books of music exclusively by Black composers from around the world.
Over the last fifteen years, Pine has collected more than 900 works by more than 350 Black composers from the 18th-21st centuries, representing North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The inaugural MBC Violin Volume I, to be published in October 2018, features 23 works for violin with piano or second violin by seventeen Black composers spanning from 1767 to 2014 representing the United States, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Ghana, Nigeria, Switzerland, France, and England. Pine’s Blues Dialogues: Violin Works by Black Composers (Cedille Records, October 2018), features classical violin works with a very strong blues flavor written by 20th- and 21st-century composers of African descent.
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; and the Israel, Mozarteum, and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. She has worked with many renowned conductors including John Nelson, Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf, Neeme Järvi, Marin Alsop, Placido Domingo, and Semyon Bychkov, and collaborators including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, and William Warfield.
The many contemporary composers with whom she has collaborated include David Chesky, Billy Childs, John Corigliano, Joe Deninzon, Mohammed Fairouz, Luis Jorge González, Earl Maneein, Daniel Bernard Roumain, José Serebrier, and Augusta Read Thomas. She has premiered concertos written for her by Fairouz (Alabama Symphony), Maneein (Phoenix Symphony), and the Canadian composer Marcus Goddard (Vancouver Symphony). She offered the Panamanian premiere of Roque Cordero’s 1962 Violin Concerto in 2010. 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.
In addition to her violin soloist career, Pine is an avid performer of baroque, renaissance, and medieval music on baroque violin, viola d’amore, renaissance violin, and rebec. Pine joins harpsichordist Jory Vinikour on a cornerstone of both the violin repertoire and keyboard literature, Six Sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach (Cedille).
Unlike many contemporary performers, Pine writes her own cadenzas to many of the works she performs. With Carl Fischer’s publication of The Rachel Barton Pine Collection, Pine became the only living artist and first woman to join musicians like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz in Carl Fischer’s Masters Collection series. Her work as an editor and author highlights how the quality of her scholarship and the depth of her experience continues to distinguish her interpretations. Most recent is the January 2018 J.S. Bach: Six Sonatas and Partitas, edited by Pine.
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 has a prolific discography of 37 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, and followed by Beethoven and Clement Violin Concertos. Pine’s Elgar & Bruch Violin Concertos, recorded with Maestro Andrew Litton and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, pays homage to the late Sir Neville Marriner, who was originally scheduled to record it with Rachel. It was to be Marriner’s first recording of the Elgar, an especially meaningful project as his teacher Billy Reed had collaborated closely with Elgar on its creation. Pine and Sir Neville previously recorded Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, which charted at number three on the classical charts. Pine’s Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach and Violin Lullabies debuted at number one on the classical chart. Her Bel Canto Paganini hit number three.
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. 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 Music by Black Composers. She performs on the “ex-Bazzini, ex-Soldat” Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu (Cremona, 1742), on lifetime loan from her patron.
July 2018 – Please do not edit without permission.
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This fall, Rachel Barton Pine launched her Music By Black Composers in partnership with the Sphinx Organization, Center for Black Music Research, American String Teachers Association, and others. This initial stage of the project is anchored by four landmark projects: MBC Violin Volume I, the first in a series of pedagogical books of music exclusively by Black classical composers; The Rachel Barton Pine Foundation Coloring Book of Black Composers; a timeline poster of 300+ Black classical composers; and Pine’s Blues Dialogues, an album of classical works written by 20th- and 21st-century composers of African descent released by Cedille Records.
Related recital program:
Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Sonata No. 2 in A major
Beethoven: Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47, “Kreutzer”
Brahms: Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108
William Grant Still: Suite for Violin and Piano
Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, critically acclaimed artists of international renown — and also close friends — record and perform together for the first time with a program of J.S. Bach’s complete sonatas for violin and harpsichord. The artists approach these works as Bach intended: as trio sonatas with equally important roles for the violin and the harpsichord’s treble and bass lines.
Bach: Sonata in B minor, violin and harpsichord
Bach: Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
Bach: Partita in D major for solo harpsichord
Bach: Sonata in E major, violin and harpsichord
Inspired by her research, recording, and performances of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, Rachel has commissioned three works to be performed with their Bach counterparts in a program called “American Partitas.” Bach wrote his three partitas with the first using older dance forms, the second using the ones of his day, and the third using progressive forms. Rachel’s commissions reflect this same progression starting with fiddle music, moving on to jazz, and finishing with hip-hop (all acoustic). The “American Partitas” feature works from Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, David Wallace, April Verch, Billy Childs, and Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR).
In response to her wildly successful “Old World, New World” program which explored folk tunes and their influence, Rachel Barton Pine has created yet another fascinating program that is focused on “American Traditions” this time:
Bach: Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004
Vieuxtemps: Yankee Doodle
A Set of Dance Tunes by Noel da Costa (a fiddly and bluesy work from Rachel’s recent release, Blues Dialogues)
Wallace/Molsky/Verch/Anger: American Partita No. 1
The last movement of David Wallace’s Personas (based on the old tune “I’ll Fly Away”)
Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River
Mark O’Connor: Caprice No. 1
Bartók Nos. 1, 2
Bruch No. 1 + Scottish Fantasy
Corigliano Red Violin Chaconne + Concerto
Lalo Symphonie Espagnole
Mozart Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Prokofiev No. 2
Szymanowski No. 1
Vieuxtemps No. 5
Vivaldi Four Seasons
Wieniawski No. 2
Please consult with MKI Artists if you’re interested in a concerto not included here.