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Performance Details

Sunday, January 17 | 8:00 p.m.

  • Circle of Friends members who give $500+ annually are eligible for 10% off concert tickets. Call 480.478.6000 for more information.


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Winter/Spring 2016 Concert Series
sponsored in part by:


Rachel Barton Pine presents “The Playoffs!”

Part of the Stradivarius Concert Series

Can you hear the difference between a Guarneri or a Stradivari? Violin virtuosa Rachel Barton Pine opens the Stradivarius concert series with a once-in-a-lifetime concert opportunity. Barton Pine will perform “blind” demonstrations on instruments from MIM’s special exhibition and her own magnificent Guarneri del Gesù violin. She will challenge the audience to choose in a violin-by-violin showdown their favorite sound. Which masterpiece will win first place in our ears and hearts?

In both art and life, violinist Rachel Barton Pine has an extraordinary ability to connect with people. Celebrated as a great interpreter of 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 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 played for the President of Ghana and the President of Singapore as well as for the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pine’s prolific discography on the Cedille, Warner Classics, Hänssler Classics 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 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 seventeen, 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.

Pine is committed to encouraging the next generation to experience the transformative power of the arts. Her Rachel Barton Pine 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 developed 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.

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.

For information about the Stradivarius: Origins and Legacy of the Greatest Violin Maker exhibition, please click here.

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