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Rachel Barton Pine

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Rachel Barton Pine (born October 11, 1974) is a violinist from Chicago. Considered a child prodigy at the violin, she started playing at the age of 3 and a half. She played at many renowned venues through her child and teen years. She currently resides in Chicago with her husband Greg (a computer entrepreneur and former minor league baseball pitcher), tours worldwide as a soloist with prestigious orchestras, and has an active recording career.

Barton Pine began playing the violin after being inspired by the example of older girls playing at her church. She debuted with the Chicago String Ensemble at age 7, and with the Chicago Symphony under the baton of Erich Leinsdorf at age 10. Her principal teachers were Roland and Almita Vamos. Home schooling allowed her to practice 8 hours a day. At age 14 she was forced by circumstances to contribute significantly to her family’s expenses by taking jobs playing at weddings and in orchestras. Explaining how she managed, she says, “I put on a lot of makeup and pretended I was older than I was.”

She attained notable success in a number of violin competitions, for example in 1992 becoming the youngest (at age 17) and the first American gold medal winner at the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition in Leipzig, Germany. She also earned 2nd prizes in the József Szigeti Violin Competition (1992) and the International Fritz Kreisler Competition (1992), as well as awards from the Montreal International Musical Competition (1991), the Paganini Competition (1993), and the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition (1993).

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