The reviews are in and our October concerts, Rachel Barton Pine Plays Khachaturian, are a hit! Read more about these performances featuring Violinist Rachel Barton Pine below.

Buy tickets

Mike Muckian / Isthmus

“Violinist Rachel Barton Pine demonstrated brilliant virtuosic technique while playing Khachaturian’s 1940 composition… Her fiery approach drove through the Armenian composer’s interweave of folk melodies and classical structures, trading leads with other orchestra members and blending seamlessly in various duets with other performers.”

“In five movements, [Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé] represents the life of a fictional Russian military officer: birth, marriage, heroic exploits, and even death. Despite the martial overtones, the melodies were often light and delicate, proving to be a delightful 20-minute opening to the evening.”

“Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, the evening’s closer, was a similarly colorful collection of musical elements captured in five movements. From its sprightly opening notes, light with an almost irreverent timbre, to its close, the 27-minute symphony composed in 1945 is almost the antithesis of the Khachaturian work. The composer’s romantic inclinations showed through, and MSO captured its spirit in a flawless performance.”

Read the full review

Greg Hettmansberger / What Greg Says

“More curious Friday night at Overture Hall was discovering that the MSO had never, until these concerts, played the complete [Lieutenant Kijé] suite. Certainly the players and DeMain lost no time in making up for that, offering a performance that could stop on a dime and switch from tongue-in-cheek sassiness to genuinely warm lyricism.”

“[Rachel Barton Pine] plays a 1742 Guarneri instrument, and the usual adjectives seem all but worthless in trying to describe the tone she produces. You can trot out your own superlatives regarding her mastery of technique; the overriding impression of her playing in the first movement of the underrated Khachaturian was that she could produce a huge volume with little obvious effort. If she needed to rise above the full orchestra, she could, without a shred of strain in the sound, and when she had an unaccompanied passage, she has at her disposal a palette of tone colors that must be the envy of most of her colleagues.”

“DeMain devoted the second half of the evening to Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9… DeMain and company brought every aspect of the work to vivid life.”

“The chance to hear an artist of her magnitude with a full orchestra in our jewel of a concert hall is precious, and yours truly urges you to grab a ticket for Saturday night or Sunday afternoon and take advantage.”

Read the full review

Bill Wineke / Channel 3000

“Pine played Aram Khachhaturian’s Violin Concerto, a mostly bright and happy piece that contrasts with the heavy and often dreary style of much Russian music. Even seated on the bench, she plays with exuberant style, ending each work with a flourish of raised bow.”

Read the full review

Matt Ambrosio / Capital Times

“It was clear that Pine has taken great care in developing a thoughtful rendition of the work, seasoned by years of experience with it.”

“Pine’s performance was a joy, and her cadenza in the first movement was a highlight of the evening. In works such as this, the small things make a big difference, and in Pine’s performance, every ornament and melisma was played with intimate precision and thoughtfulness.”

“The MSO and soloist found cohesion in the much slower second movement. Pine gave the movement’s plaintive melody a dynamic contour that kept audience members unwaveringly attentive, and the MSO produced a great variety of orchestral colors that complemented Pine nicely. The jollier third movement provided a nice contrast to the second. Pine danced between violin strings, rendering the movement’s returning theme songful, so much so that audience members could be heard humming it during intermission. She has a real talent in shaping melodies.”

“Though a diabolically difficult piece, Pine delivered the caprice with great artistry. A consummate entertainer, she embodied the work’s chuckling theme as she performed its tricky double stops with expert precision.”

“DeMain and the MSO showed great dynamic control, and the piece rounded out the evening well. In particular, shining moments were delivered by the woodwind section, the brass section, and, most notably, the bassoon soloist, Cynthia Cameron-Fix.”

Read the full review