My last two trips were memorable for some unmistakable signs of winter: the flu and a blizzard.
It was wonderful to work again with the Jupiter Chamber Players in New York. You can’t beat the combination of terrific musicians and exciting repertoire! Unfortunately, I came down with a fever, congestion, and a nasty cough on my first night in the city. Slogging through five-hour rehearsals and a double concert day was challenging. What do you do if your nose starts running on stage and you don't have enough measures rest to discreetly grab a tissue? Just keep playing and no one will notice! (At least, my friends claimed it wasn’t visible…)
I had just a few hours in Chicago to repack my suitcases before heading off to Dayton, Ohio. I was really looking forward to revisiting Roque Cordero’s Violin Concerto, with all of its Panamanian-flavored rhythms and interesting orchestral colors. The rehearsals with the Dayton Phil went well, but sadly both performances were canceled due to extreme weather conditions (see below). The concerts have been rescheduled for next January (unless the weather gods intervene again).
REVIEW: “It's snow joke: DPO guest puts on show”
Dayton Daily News (OH) March 12, 2008
The weekend's weather forced the program to be canceled, but violinist Rachel Barton Pine can't be stopped.
By Carol Simmons
After the weekend's extreme winter weather forced the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra to cancel its planned program Friday and Saturday nights, March 7-8, at the Schuster Center, DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman told a robust gathering of about 200 ticketholders on Saturday evening that the weekend had been the most disappointing he had ever experienced in his professional career.
His disappointment at not being able to perform the works prepared for the two evenings was palpable. At the same time, he noted that because of the extreme graciousness of the orchestra's guest soloist, violinist Rachel Barton Pine, March 8, 2008, would likely go down in Philharmonic lore as the night the DPO "made lemonade."
That's because, while the orchestra musicians — some of whom lived in such "level 3 emergency" locations as Cincinnati and Columbus — couldn't get into Dayton for Saturday night's concert, Barton Pine was already there — and she was not only ready, but raring, to play.
And play she did, presenting a full solo recital of unaccompanied violin works that ranged from such anchors of the classical literature as a Bach Sonata and a Partita set to more obscure pieces from a variety of sources.
Proving to be a delightful hostess, Barton Pine played with the kind of joy and perfection that comes when you're playing for the pure love of it. The result was lemonade with a kick.
New podcast format: Violin Adventures with Rachel Barton Pine
I’ve just revamped my podcast. Each episode includes a main topic, upcoming events, Inquiries from my Inbox, and a Random Musical Thought. Please be sure to let me know what you think of the new format! To listen, please visit rachelbartonpine.libsyn.com.
Episode 27 – Mozart’s amazing Violin and Viola Duos with guest violist Eric Nowlin. A discussion about Mozart's compositions for viola with guest artist Eric Nowlin, particularly the Violin and Viola Duos. Includes musical examples (played by Rachel and Eric) from Mozart’s Violin and Viola Duos and Michael Haydn's earlier Duets. Rachel also tells the story of how Mozart came to the rescue of Michael Haydn by composing his duos. Inquires From My Inbox: sonofaguitar asks, “Where do you find the music for the Pibroch (Mackenzie’s Lament) that you play on your YouTube video?” Random Musical Thought: Another difference between classical and non-classical music: familiarity with the repertoire, and whether or not the audience is listening one step ahead or one step behind.
Episode 26 – Preparing for Chamber Music Rehearsals: How to Expedite the Process. Learning chamber music in a hurry, a step-by-step process: Using highlighters, studying the score, marking things into your part, listening to recordings, and more. Inquires From My Inbox: Fastopen asks "Who is your violin luthier?" Random Musical Thought: I believe that musicians who are full of great joy can create music that is just as profound as that of musicians who are full of angst.
Episode 25 – Meet the Viola d’Amore, a 14inged Cousin of the Violin! All about the viola d'amore: its construction, its history, what it sounds like, how it's tuned, learning how to play it, famous composers who wrote for it, and where to call for information about buying one. Inquires From My Inbox: Caveman147 asks "Do you use the same violin when you play Sweet Home Chicago?" Random Musical Thought: Why can't you buy embroidered patches of classical composers or performers?
Episode 24 – Memorization: The Conscious and the Subconscious Working Together. How to be confident that your piece of music is programmed into in your muscles and reflexes (your subconscious, physical memory) and securely in your brain (your conscious memory).Inquires From My Inbox: Fiddlerfrank asks "Will you be recording the Bach 6 Sonatas and Partitas soon?" Random Musical Thought: Excerpt from violist Richard Young's book "Echoes from Calvary"
Do you have a question you’d like me to answer on Violin Adventures? Just send your question in written form or as an MP3 attachment to email@example.com. Please also let me know if you have any comments or suggestions. If you use iTunes, be sure to subscribe!
2 new YouTube videos
Rachel Barton Pine answers audience questions about her life as a violinist and the difference between baroque and modern violin bows on May 27, 2007.
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine performs Airs Tziganes by Cesar Espejo on May 27, 2007.
Click here to see the whole gallery on Flickr. Do you have a photo of yourself with me you’d like to add? Just email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This weekend - concerts (and a party!) in Jacksonville, Florida
I will be performing three concerts with the Jacksonville Symphony and Maestro Fabio Mechetti for “Rachel and the Red Violin.” My repertoire will be Corigliano’s Red Violin Chaconne and Ravel’s Tzigane, and the orchestra will also play Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. The concerts will take place on Thursday, March 20 at 7:30pm, Friday, March 21 at 8pm, and Saturday, March 22 at 8pm, at the Jacoby Symphony Hall at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Florida.
Please join Maestro Mechetti and me one hour before each concert for a pre-concert conversation where we will discuss the repertoire.
Also, before the Saturday March 22 performance, I’ll appear and perform at a special pre-concert event, “Ladies in Red Night” at Plaza III – The Steakhouse, located in the Hyatt Regency Riverfront. I’ll be joined by JSO Concertmaster Philip Pan, who has collaborated with me at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. Philip shares my love of rock and fiddle music, so we will play duets by Mark O’Connor, Wieniawski, and Metallica. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Ladies’ attire is red. Admission is free with concert ticket. Cash bar and complimentary appetizers are included.
Following the Saturday performance, Maestro Mechetti and I will present a “Talkback,” where you will have the opportunity to ask us questions.
On Saturday, March 29, at 7:30pm, I will perform the Dvorak Violin Concerto with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Maestro George Del Gobbo at the River Center for the Performing Arts in Columbus, Georgia. The concert will also include Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and Variations on a Theme of Haydn.
Please be sure to join me and Maestro Del Gobbo at 6:30pm for a pre-concert talk.
The dress rehearsal, Saturday at 12:30pm, is open to seniors over 60, fine arts students from CSU, and children under 12.
For more information, please call 706-323-5059 or visit www.csoga.org. To read program notes about this concert, please click here.
save the dates
April 7 – master class for the Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony April 14 – Jupiter Chamber Players in New York City April 17 – Beethoven Concerto with the Northwest Indiana Symphony April 18 – period instrument concert in Chicago April 19 – Mendelssohn Concerto in Chicago April 20 – period instrument concert in Skokie, Illinois April 25&26 – Beethoven Concerto with the New Philharmonic in Glen Ellyn, Illinois April 27 – recital in Lake Forest, Illinois
A quick last-minute update to let you know that you can listen to my performance tonight, live on the Internet, starting at 8:00pm Central Standard Time. The music is Haydn’s masterpiece for string quartet, The Seven Last Words of Christ. I will be joined by violinist Mathais Tacke and violist Richard Young from the Vermeer Quartet along with cellist Wendy Warner.
Just go to www.wfmt.com to listen (or tune your radio to 98.7FM in the Chicago area).
In between each movement, the corresponding bible verse will be read, followed by a brief homily, illuminating Haydn’s musical meditations on the text.
Here are the biographies of the eight speakers:
The Introduction; The Earthquake Pastor T.L. Barrett is the founder of the Life Center Church of God in Christ on Chicago’s South Side. His father died when he was 16, and he grew up in one of America’s most difficult inner-city environment – the Chicago Housing Authority “projects.” And yet, he has become one of the community’s most dynamic and influential leaders. Holder of 2 honorary doctorates and 47 civic awards, he is a board member of the Ministers’ Division of Operation PUSH, and conducts a ministry in the Illinois state prison system and in Cook County Jail in Chicago. He is active in the Outreach Ministry for the homeless, the Guardian Angel early intervention program, the Youth For Christ self-help group, the Big Brother/Big Sister adoption program, and the Gang Truce program. Rev. Barrett was the speaker for the Vermeer Quartet’s very first presentation of this work in 1988.
“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer has been a judge on the U.S. District Court in Chicago since 1998, having been nominated by President Clinton. She was also an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Human Rights Commission, and served as Presiding Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. She graduated from Valparaiso University and earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. Following a one-year clerkship for the Minnesota Supreme Court, she practiced in the area of commercial litigation with the Chicago law firm of Hopkins and Suter. She has taught at the Loyola University School of Law, and is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois. Ms. Pallmeyer was the judge in the recent corruption trial of former Illinois Governor George Ryan.
“Surely, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Rev. Willie Barrow is the Chairman of the Board, Emeritus, of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. An ordained minister of the Church of God, she was the first female to be Vice President of the Illinois State Ministerial Assembly. She received her education at Warner-Pacific Theological Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and has received a number of honorary doctorates. She is an original member of the first National Staff of Operation BREADBASKET, and in 1963 was a coordinating member of the Chicago delegation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington. In 1968 she was National Organizer for The Poor People’s Campaign, and in 1969 led the first Statewide Coalition Against Hunger in Illinois. A member of the Democratic National Committee, she was National Deputy Campaign Manager and Road Manager for the Jackson for President Campaign in 1984.
“Woman, behold your son; behold your mother.” Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she held the Carey McGuire Chair in Ethics at the Library of Congress, was co-director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and now holds the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Chair in the Foundations of American Freedom at Georgetown University. In 2006 Dr. Elshtain was appointed to the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Also that year she delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh, following in the footsteps of Reinhold Niebuhr, William James, and Hannah Arendt. Her most recent books include Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (2002), and Sovereignties: God, State, Self (2008).
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Dr. Martin E. Marty is one of the world’s most celebrated theologians. He is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago where he taught for 35 years and where the Martin Marty Center has since been founded. He has been awarded the National Humanities Medal, the Order of Lincoln Medallion (Illinois’ top honor), the Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Book Award, and 77 honorary doctorates. Dr. Marty has been President of the Park Ridge Center for Health, Faith, and Ethics, the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the American Catholic Historical Association,. He has written more than 50 books, including Martin Luther (2004), The Mystery of the Child and the Provision of Care (2007), and The Christian World: A Global History (2007).
“I thirst.” Rev. John M. Buchanan is the editor of Christian Century and the pastor of Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church. One of America’s most influential Presbyterians, he served as moderator of the 208th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. He received an A.B. in Government from Franklin and Marshall College, and the B.D./M.Div. from The University of Chicago Divinity School/Chicago Theological Seminary. Rev. Buchanan was previously a church pastor in Lafayette (Indiana), Columbus (Ohio), and Dyer (Indiana). He recently served as President of the Board of Trustees of McCormick Theological Seminary, Chairperson of the Board of the Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministry, and on the Board of Trustees of Northwestern Memorial Foundation and the Presbyterian Home in Evanston. His most recent book is A New Church for a New Age.
“It is finished.” Dr. David Tracy is the Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor of Theology Emeritus at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he taught since 1969. A Professor in the Committee on the Analysis of Ideas and Methods and in the Committee on Social Thought, he has also lectured at dozens of institutions throughout the world. Dr. Tracy holds a Licentiate in Theology and a Doctorate in Theology from Gregorian University in Rome, plus 12 honorary doctorates. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Religion, and is the past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America. His recent books are Plurality and Ambiguity: Hermeneutics, Religion and Hope (1987), Dialogue with the Other (1990), Naming the Present (1995), and This Side of God (2008).