Once known as a child prodigy, acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine is scheduled to make her University of Chicago recital debut on April 26--a performance that marks, in a way, a return to her roots.
"I actually wouldn’t exist if not for the University of Chicago," Pine said. "My parents are both graduates. They met on my mom’s first day of school, when my dad was the upperclassman assigned to show her around campus. And the rest is history."
The 44-year-old will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s sonatas at the Logan Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. , playing alongside harpsichordist and fellow Chicago native Jory Vinikour. The two began collaborating two decades ago, and dove into German composer’s sonatas in earnest in 2015. For Pine, this material not only opens up possibilities for performers, but reach audiences by "appealing to the heart."
"That’s what I love most about them, is all of the emotion that they contain and the variety of different moods that they create," said Pine, whose performance is part of UChicago Presents ’ Howard Mayer Brown International Early Music Series. "And when you’re jamming with a great harpsichordist like Jory Vinikour, it’s never the same way twice."
"The magical thing about chamber music is when you find a connection with someone where it just clicks, and there’s some kind of unity of spirits that makes the sum greater than the parts."
Pine debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when she was 10 years old and became, at 17, the youngest performer and first American to win a gold medal in violin at the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition. In 2006, after a performance at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Washington Post described Pine as having "a power and confidence that puts her in the top echelon of recitalists."
She also has spent parts of the past two decades cataloging classical music by black composers , releasing an album of such work called Blues Dialogues.
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