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, she combines 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 performs with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg and the Chicago, Vienna, and Detroit symphony orchestras. She has worked with renowned conductors, including Teddy Abrams, Marin Alsop, Semyon Bychkov, Neeme Järvi, Erich Leinsdorf, Sir Neville Marriner, Nicholas McGegan, Zubin Mehta, Tito Muñoz and John Nelson, and has collaborated with artists such as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach and William Warfield.
Pine frequently performs music by contemporary composers, including major works written for her by Billy Childs, Mohammed Fairouz, Marcus Goddard, Earl Maneein, Shawn E. Okpebholo, Daniel Bernard Roumain, José Serebrier and Augusta Read Thomas. She has premiered concertos written for her by Fairouz, Goddard and Maneein. She premiered the Violin Concerto No. 2, which Childs composed for her through a co-commission from the Grant Park Music Festival, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and the Interlochen Orchestra.
Pine’s virtual appearances during the pandemic have included performing Mozart Concerto No. 1 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Domingo Hindoyan. She joined New Mexico Philharmonic music director Roberto Minczuk for a conversation and performance celebrating their two decades of collaboration. She was presented in recital by Barrington’s White House, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Music Tulsa, Early Music Seattle, the Placitas Artists Series and Portland Friends of Chamber Music. She appeared on the Ottawa Chamberfest Chamber Chats and on Daniel Bernard Roumain’s Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth series “Who We Are w/DBR.” Her presentations on classical music by Black composers included the American String Teachers Association’s national conference, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Soundpost series, Cornell University, the New World Symphony, the 92nd Street Y, Northwestern University, Sphinx Performance Academy and Temple University.
Her discography of 39 recordings includes Dvořák and Khachaturian violin concertos (Teddy Abrams and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra); Brahms and Joachim violin concertos (Carlos Kalmar and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and Elgar and Bruch violin concertos (Andrew Litton and the BBC Symphony Orchestra). Pine and Sir Neville Marriner’s Mozart: Complete Violin Concertos with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and her “Bel Canto Paganini” each charted at No. 3 on Billboard magazine's classical charts. Pine’s “Testament”: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by J.S. Bach and “Violin Lullabies“ debuted at No. 1. Her disc of violin concertos by Black composers of the 18th and 19th centuries was nominated for a 1997 NPR Heritage Award. Her recent “Blues Dialogues” is an album of blues-influenced classical works by 20th- and 21st-century Black composers.
Pine writes her own cadenzas and performs many of her own arrangements. With the publication of the Rachel Barton Pine Collection, she became the only living artist and the first woman in Carl Fischer’s Masters Collection. She has appeared on “Today,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “PBS NewsHour,” “Prairie Home Companion,” NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Performance Today,” and in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. She holds prizes from several of the world’s leading competitions, including a gold medal at the 1992 J.S. Bach International Violin Competition.
An active philanthropist, Pine has led the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation since 2001. Early in her career, she noticed that young people learning classical music seldom have the opportunity to study and perform music written by Black composers. In the last 20 years, Pine and her RBP Foundation’s Music by Black Composers project have collected more than 900 works by more than 450 Black composers from the 18th to 21st centuries. The project curates free repertoire directories on its website and publishes print resources, including pedagogical books of music exclusively by global Black classical composers. Additionally, the RBP Foundation assists young artists through its instrument loan program and grants for education and career. Pine also serves on the board of the Sphinx Organization and other non-profits.
She performs on the ex-Bazzini, ex-Soldat Joseph Guarnerius “del Gesù” (Cremona 1742) violin, on a lifetime loan from her anonymous patron.