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Rachel Barton Pine (b1974)

Three-year-old Rachel Barton was struck by ‘older girls in beautiful dresses who were playing violin at church’ and begged her parents for a violin. ‘Initially, it was the sound of it I loved,’ she recalls. ‘Its voice spoke to me as if this were preordained somehow. By age five, I knew this is what my life would be about.’ She was educated at home, able to devote eight hours a day to practising. Taught by Roland and Almita Vamos, Ruben Gonzalez, Werner Scholz, Elmira Darvarova and several specialists in early music performance practice, she benefitted from a rigorous and intensive programme of study.  At ten she made appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a number of television broadcasts. She was the youngest person (at seventeen) and first American to win a gold medal at the J.S. Bach International Competition, Leipzig, also winning top prizes in the Szigeti, Paganini, Queen Elisabeth, Kreisler, and Montreal International Violin Competitions. In 1996 she was an Olympic torchbearer and appeared as a soloist at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Atlanta.

Barton Pine professes a passion for guiding the future of music: accordingly she has undertaken much work with young people and has served on the boards of various schools including the Music Institute of Chicago. She recently received the prestigious Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award for her work in music education.



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