Rachel Barton Pine

Rachel Barton Pine

Saturday, March 21, 2015
8:00pm – 10:00pm
Smith Theatre - Horowitz Performing Arts Center (map)
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia MD 21044


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Schubert: Duo in A Major for violin and piano
Prokofiev: Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80
Fairouz: Lullaby of the Ex Soldat
Still: Mother and Child, No. 2 from Suite for violin and piano
Brahms: Wiegenlied (“Cradle Song”), No. 4 from Fünf Lieder, Op. 49
Franck: Sonata in A Major for violin and piano


Classical violinist Rachel Barton Pine discusses the perils of performing Paganini's Caprices, 24 technically demanding pieces of music that are rarely performed in succession.

In both art and life, violinist Rachel Barton Pine has an extraordinary ability to connect with people. Her performances exude passion and conviction, and her honesty in communicating the core emotions of great works moves listeners worldwide. Pine’s scholarly fascination with history enables her to bring informed interpretations to her extensive repertoire, while her innate ability to understand and perform music of many diverse genres captivates music lovers of all backgrounds. Audiences are thrilled and uplifted by her dazzling technique, lustrous tone, and infectious joy in music-making.

Pine has appeared as soloist with many of North America’s most prestigious orchestras, including the symphonies of Chicago, Montreal, Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, and St. Louis, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Overseas she has performed with orchestras in Vienna, Iceland, New Zealand, and Budapest; the Royal Scottish and Belgian National Orchestras; the Israel and Scottish Chamber Orchestras; and the Royal Philharmonic. She has worked with such renowned conductors as Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Neeme Järvi, Erich Leinsdorf, Marin Alsop, José Serebrier, and Placido Domingo, and has collaborated with such leading artists as Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, William Warfield, Christopher O’Riley, and Mark O’Connor. Her festival appearances have included Marlboro, Ravinia, Vail, and Salzburg. She recently played for the Presidents of Ghana and Singapore as well as for the Justices of the United States Supreme Court.

During her 2011-2012 season she will perform with Brazil’s Orquesta Filarmonica de Minas Gerais, Poland’s Beethoven Academy Orchestra, the Calgary and Las Vegas Philharmonics, and the Columbus and Tallahassee Symphonies among others.  Throughout the season she will play works by Bernstein, Brahms, Bruch, Corigliano, Glazunov, Korngold, Ravel, Sarasate, Vaughan Williams and Vivaldi.  She will also perform the five Mozart Violin Concertos with the New York Chamber Soloists in Florida, Texas and California.

This season Pine will play the complete Paganini 24 Caprices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City as well as offer recitals at Wolf Trap, the Latino Music Festival in Chicago, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival and New York City’s Rubin Museum.  Past recital performances have included all six Bach Sonatas and Partitas as well as the complete Brahms Sonatas in single evenings.  In 2009 she gave the world premiere of the last movement of Samuel Barber’s long-lost 1928 Violin Sonata.

During 2011-2012, Pine will celebrate four CD releases.  Her June, 2011, Capricho Latino on Cedille, is a stunning collection of 14 unaccompanied virtuoso pieces with a Latin flair, for which eight make their recording debut, including her own arrangement of Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz’s celebrated Asturias, which draws on both Francisco Tárrega’s familiar guitar transcription and Albéniz’s original but less-known score for piano.  The CD also features a unique duet, Pine performing Alan Ridout’s Ferdinand the Bull score with the words of the beloved children’s story delivered by actor Héctor Elizondo (Pretty Woman, Grey’s Anatomy).  In fall 2011, Pine’s period instrument ensemble Trio Settecento will release its album A French Soirée with works by Lully, Couperin, Marais, Forqueray, Rebel, Rameau and Leclair also on Cedille.   Pine’s performance of Xavier Montsalvatge’s Poema Concertante for violin and orchestra recorded with the NDR-Symphony-Orchestra Hamburg conducted by Maestro Celso Antunes will be released in November 2011 by Hänssler Classics as part of an album of Montsalvatge symphonic works.  She will also be featured on an album of works by renowned Ghanian composer J.H. Kwabena Nketia, performing his violin and piano repertoire with pianist George Francois.

In 1992, she won the gold medal at the J.S. Bach International Violin Competition in Leipzig, becoming the first American and, at age 17, the youngest person ever to win this honor. Pine holds prizes from several of the world’s other leading competitions, including top awards in the Queen Elisabeth (Brussels, 1993), Kreisler (Vienna, 1992), Szigeti (Budapest, 1992), and Montreal (1991) International Violin Competitions. She also won prizes for her interpretation of the Paganini Caprices at both the Szigeti Competition and the 1993 Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa.

Pine writes her own cadenzas to many of the works she performs including concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Paganini. In 2009, Carl Fischer published The Rachel Barton Pine Collection, a compilation of original compositions, arrangements, and cadenzas penned by Pine, which earned her the distinction of being the only living artist and first woman to join great musicians like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz in Carl Fischer’s Masters Collection series. A champion of new music, Pine has premiered a number of works written for her by composers including Augusta Read Thomas.She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Music Institute of Chicago, which recently named the “Rachel Barton Pine Violin Chair” in her honor.

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, appeared five times on NBC’s Today Show, and frequently has been a guest on nationally-syndicated radio shows including Performance Today, Saint Paul Sunday, and From the Top. Recent cover stories include Strad, Strings, and International Musician.

Grateful to those who helped her become a concert violinist, Pine continues to mentor and inspire the next generation of artists and concertgoers through her philanthropic, educational, and outreach activities. She heads the Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation, which 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 with the University of Michigan: The String Student’s Library of Music by Black Composers. Her diverse outreach activities include master classes and school visits, teaching at Mark O’Connor’s Fiddle Camp and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp, and special appearances to introduce classical music to her fellow rock music fans. In 2007, she received the prestigious Studs Terkel Humanities Service Awards for her work in music education.

Pine is also an avid performer of historically-informed interpretations of early music on baroque violin, viola d’amore, renaissance violin, and rebec, and she frequently performs and records with her period-instrument chamber ensemble, Trio Settecento. Recent performances include appearances at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Frick Collection, and the Miller Theater. Her love of music extends far and wide; last year, she acquired a custom-made extended-range flying V electric violin and formed the doom/thrash metal band Earthen Grave. The group frequently performs and recently released a critically-acclaimed five-song EP called Dismal Times.

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 10 and 15 – were broadcast on television. Her principal teachers were Roland and Almita Vamos, and she has also studied with Ruben Gonzalez, Werner Scholz, and Elmira Darvarova. Pine lives in Chicago with her husband. Her blog, podcast, and video channel may be accessed through her website www.rachelbartonpine.com.

She performs on the Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu (Cremona 1742), known as the “ex-Soldat,” on generous loan from her patron.


Matthew Hagle

Pianist Matthew Hagle lives and works in the Chicago area, having performed at the Ravinia Festival’s Martin Theater, Symphony Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, and live from radio station WFMT, among other venues.  He has performed in England, Australia, and Japan, as well as throughout the United States.  His recent solo performances have explored the often neglected masterpieces of the 20th-century piano repertoire and connections between newer and older music, including pieces of Copland, Carter, Ives, Schönberg, Messaien, Ligeti, and Takemitsu.  Since 1999, he has been principal collaborator to violinist Rachel Barton Pine, joining her for performances around the United States including a recent recital at the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as appearances on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday, and the Jerry Lewis Telethon.  In 2005, he joined Ms. Pine for a series of performances of the complete works for violin and piano by Beethoven, live on WFMT.  He also performs with members of the Chicago Symphony and as a piano duo with his wife Mio. 

Clavier Magazine has praised the “rare clarity and sweetness” of Mr. Hagle’s playing, which has been described by both Piano and Keyboard and the New Haven Register as “outstanding.”  The Charleston Post and Courier commented on his “unusual sensitivity,” and the Springfield (MA) Union News applauded his “unaffected brilliance and   profound understanding,” “elegant phrases and majestic expostulations,” and “rhythmic dependability, guarded exuberance, and a glorious fourth and fifth-finger legato with which to sing gleaming upper-octave melodies.” 

A dedicated teacher of piano, chamber music, music theory, and composition, Mr. Hagle currently is on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago.  His students in piano and composition have won prizes in local and national competitions.  He also has taught at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, at Elmhurst College, and at the International Institute for Young Musicians at the Universities of Kansas and California at Santa Barbara.  In addition to teaching composition, Mr. Hagle has composed pieces for solo flute and piano that have been performed in Germany and Japan.  He was a laureate of the 1997 American Pianists Association Competition, and one of 36 pianists chosen to compete in the 2000 Sydney International Piano Competition.  

Matthew Hagle is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (B.M.) and of Yale University (M.M., M.M.A., D.M.A), receiving faculty prizes in piano, accompanying, and music theory.  He has also received a Fulbright Grant to study piano privately in London.   His teachers were Claude Frank, Robert Weirich, Donald Currier and Maria Curcio Diamond.

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