Rachel Barton Pine

Biography

Rachel Barton Pine

An extraordinary violinist, dubbed the 'musical Pac-Man' for her ability to perform so many different styles - including classical, doom metal, folk and jazz.

  • Born on 11 October 1974, Rachel was home-schooled and started playing violin at 3.
  • She debuted with the Chicago Symphony aged 10 and performed at many other renowned venues as a child and teenager.
  • By 14, she was contributed significantly to her family's income by performing at weddings and in orchestras. 
  • In 1992, aged 17, she became the youngest and first American gold medal winner at the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition in Leipzig.
  • When she was 20, she was severely injured when the doors of a train trapped the strap of her violin case. Her accident resulted in a change in safety procedures on the trains.
  • After a two-year recovery period, following numerous surgeries, she resumed her career.
  • Barton Pine is a huge fan of heavy metal bands including AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Megadeth and Metallica. She has jammed with a number of them.
  • In February 2009, she joined the thrash/doom metal band Earthen Grave, where she performs on a 6-string electric violin. In a 2010 concert at Chicago's Millennium Park, Pine soloed in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto before changing into black leather to play electric violin with Earthen Grave.
  • She often incorporates orchestral versions of rock pieces into her coaching sessions.
  • Barton Pine plays in the chamber music group, Trio Settecento, exploring rare baroque repertoire. 
  • She has appeared as a soloist with orchestras around the world under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Neeme Järvi, Marin Alsop and Plácido Domingo.
  • Barton Pine has started a foundation to promote the study and appreciation of classical music, including string music by black composers. 

Rachel Barton Pine with Earthen Grave