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Rachel Barton Pine

Rachel's Musical Adventures: Please vote for me!

November 28, 2007 at 7:20 PM

Please vote for me!

I have been nominated for “Best Classical Entertainer” by the Chicago Music Awards. Please take a moment to visit and vote in Category 7. The results will be announced at the end of January. Thanks for your help!

My best YouTube video yet!

“Brahms Violin Concerto, 3rd movement - Rachel Barton Pine”

I am very excited to be able to share with you the last movement of the Brahms Concerto which I performed with the Israel Chamber Orchestra and Maestro Gil Shohat in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2007. Many thanks to the ICO for allowing me to record this concert.

Please share this video with all your friends!

It finally happened to me…

This is the story of what happened during one of my concerts in South Carolina a couple weeks ago. This blogger tells it better than I ever could!

“BEFOREMATH”: Are you ready for what MIGHT happen?
By Terry Weaver
CEO, Chief Executive Boards International

I recently saw an amazing example of organizational preparation for
"what might happen". It was at a symphony concert, featuring one of the top women violin soloists in the world, Rachel Barton Pine.

During an aggressively-played performance, I heard a "plink" that shouldn't have been there. She had broken a string (on an instrument insured for $7 million). None of that was amazing, although I had never before seen a soloist break a string in a full orchestra performance. The music stopped, and the audience was expecting some confusion on stage -- at least a 5-10 minute break in the piece being performed
-- while the string was replaced.

Didn't happen that way. Without hesitation, she turned to the Concertmaster
(1st chair/1st stand violinist), handed her instrument to him, and he exchanged his with her. Even that wasn't really amazing -- he was the closest person at hand who had what she needed -- a working violin.

The amazing part was what happened next. The Concertmaster, as the leader of the violin section, needs to be playing, and he needed a violin, as well. The 2nd person on the same
stand handed him her violin. And THEN the last person at the back of the 1st violin section walked forward, exchanged his instrument with the stronger player, took the injured violin, and walked off the stage.

Meanwhile, the conductor had determined where to pick up the performance. He looked at the soloist, said "189?" (the measure number in the score), she nodded, he raised his baton and the performance resumed in less than a minute of total elapsed time.

Behind the scenes, then, the broken string was replaced, and during the applause following the first number the soloist's violin was returned to her and everyone else swapped violins back down the line.

What does this have to do with business?

We often analyze and try to learn from the aftermath of an event. This was an extraordinary case of "beforemath". I talked with both the guest artist and the orchestra members after the concert and learned that she had never before broken a string in a symphony performance. She had, however, thought about what she would do if that ever happened. The orchestra had never seen a soloist break a string before, either. Likewise, they had talked about (although not actually practiced) what they would do if that happened. Their forethought about an unlikely, but easily imaginable event made what could have otherwise been a disruption to a great performance into a "business as usual" incident.

Do our own organizations spend enough time on "beforemath"? Are you ready for things that are unlikely, but in fact might happen? Perhaps an upcoming staff meeting or offsite session would be a good place to spend an hour or so with your team brainstorming a list of things that deserve a "beforemath" plan.

I’m featured in important new musicological book, The WORLD of WOMEN in Classical Music

This wonderful book is a treasure trove of history, and I’m very honored to be included among the biographies of musical women past and present.

Buy your copy at

From the official press release:
The eagerly awaited sequel to Dr. Anne Gray's The Popular Guide to Classical Music, the newly released, The WORLD of WOMEN in Classical Music, is written in the same scintillating style and reflects over 10 years of research and incredible WEALTH of information! Besides Composers, Conductors and Performers, also explored are two hitherto neglected fields: Musicologists, and Women in the BUSINESS of Music. And what a field the latter is! Women behind the scenes in Orchestras and Opera companies! Women in the publishing and recording businesses. Women as nurturing and pioneering impresarios up to today’s savvy Agents! Plus a miscellany of other niches from running Chamber Music America to the American Symphony Orchestra League. As if this were not enough, the icing on the cake comes in the last chapter, The Unforgotten, which beautifully pays homage to Women Philanthropists whose generosity has founded Symphonies and kept Classical Music alive and vibrant. Each entry is a miniature masterpiece of biography, revealing personal glimpses of talented women who defied limiting social conventions to forge a path for themselves and future generations. Starting in caveman times, this exciting book takes us through the musical eras: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern, always within the context of historic events. Women in music known and admired by Emperors, Kings, Popes and the foremost male counterparts of each century, now spring back to life in the pages of this generous 1100 page scenario. History will prove that Dr. Gray has fulfilled a destiny by drawing back the veil that has enshrouded centuries of women in music, bequeathing to us a detailed and colorful tapestry upon which to feast our imagination, and forever enrich our minds, hearts and spirits......

new podcast episode

Rachel Barton Pine discusses Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor

Rachel Barton Pine explains the unusual structure of the Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor by Max Bruch, shares her favorite moments, and talks about its importance in pedagogy and in testing violins. Includes many musical examples.

Coming soon: my UK debut

I will be making my United Kingdom debut when I perform the Tchaikovsky Concerto in four concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Maestro Otto Kamu. The program also includes Rakastava and The Tempest Suite No. 2 by Sibelius and Tchaikovsky’s “Mozartiana.” For more information, please contact the SCO at 0131-557-6800 or visit

Concert times and locations:
Wed 12/5, 7:30 pm, Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries
Thu 12/6, 7:30pm, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
Fri 12/7, 7:30pm, City Halls, Glasgow
Sat 12/8, 7:30pm, Aberdeen Music Hall, Aberdeen

Hope to see you there, wearing your best kilt!

REVIEW: Last week’s concert with the New Mexico Symphony

November 18, 2007
Albuquerque Journal
"Pine, Feast Make for Memorable NMSO Night"
by D. S. Crafts

To everyone's delight violinist Rachel Barton Pine is becoming a regular visitor to New Mexico. Having performed with the Santa Fe Symphony earlier this season, she arrived on the stage of Popejoy Hall on Friday night as soloist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra in the Violin Concerto No. 3 of Saint-Saens.

The golden gown in which she appeared seemed a visual analogue of the golden sound which emanated from her instrument (a 1742 del Gesu). If Rembrandt's brilliant golds could "sound," they would have the timbre of Pine's playing. The Saint-Saens concerto puts the violin center stage throughout and Pine responded in a marvel of espressivo and beauty of line. Beginning with the opening phrase in meaty low tones, she sang with lilting voice through the soaring lines of the Andantino, then nimbly into the free-spirit of the Finale. Maestro Figueroa, himself an outstanding violinist, knows exactly what support to give the soloist, and provided a colorful cushion with plenty of attention to woodwind details, never once overpowering the violin.

Announcing her encore in a loud and clear voice (thank you!), she commemorated the NMSO's 75th anniversary with a Theme and Variations on a popular song— Happy Birthday. She proceeded to make even that banal tune sound like real music and followed with a series of variations which rolled the Paganini Caprices into one almost unbelievable feat of virtuosity. Great fun for us; an astounding display of technique for her.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on November 28, 2007 at 8:26 PM
A couple hours ago I was trying to do some work and had a classical station on the stereo. They played some Locateli from your CD "Italian Sojourn" and I was really captivated by it. And the spicatto in the last movement is unbelieveable. People should buy that just to hear what spicatto can be. I was wondering when you were going to blog again so I could say something about it, and here you are.
From Albert Justice
Posted on November 29, 2007 at 6:25 AM
gotcha. Good luck.
From Drew Lecher
Posted on November 29, 2007 at 7:23 AM
Brava on your Brahms!!! I haven't heard you "live" for far too many years.

You have developed as a violinist and artist continually — fantastic!
God bless,

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Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine