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Cedille’s Take 5: Rachel Barton Pine

For this edition of “Take 5” we interview virtuoso violinist and longtime Cedille artist, Rachel Barton Pine. In September, she released her new album with Chicago-based period ensemble Ars AntiguaVivaldi: the Complete Viola d’Amore Concertos. You can hear excerpts of the album here or watch her live performance on the viola d’amore at this year’s Soiree Cedille here

1.What is your most recent project and what sparked your interest in it? 
RBP: I just released an album of Vivaldi’s complete concertos for viola d’amore, a gorgeous 12-string kind of violin. I’ve been fascinated by this instrument ever since I was a student when I first learned of its existence and that great violinists of the past played it. Getting to know the viola d’amore and playing some of its best repertoire is definitely a dream come true!

2. If you weren’t a composer or a musician, what would you be?
Playing the violin isn’t just what I do, it’s who I am. And I can’t possibly say who I’d be if I wasn’t me!

3. Was there a formative moment for you as an artist? 
Besides the inspiration of my lessons, playing in church during my earliest years with the violin really helped shape who I am. Regularly playing for worship services as well as in concert halls taught me that the purpose of music and the role of a musician is to share music with others to uplift their spirits. Whether I’m playing on stage, in a school, or in a pub, this is always my goal. It’s why I do what I do.

4. What are you listening to right now?
I’m typing this as my daughter drifts off to sleep. She often requests “the sleepy violin songs” at bedtime, so I’m listening to my own Violin Lullabies album!

5. What makes the Chicago classical music scene unique?
Chicago has as rich and varied a classical music scene as you could possibly want from any great city in the world, deep in tradition, and exciting with new innovations. One thing that I’ve always felt sets us apart is our friendliness – we’re sophisticated yet unpretentious, which I definitely appreciate!


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