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Violinist Rachel Barton Pine Releases “Music By Black Composers, Vol. 2”

The second volume of the series involves two books of music comprising 31 works for violin by 20 Black composers


American violinist Rachel Barton Pine has performed with major orchestras worldwide and with renowned conductors, such as Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Semyon Bychkov, Neeme Järvi, Christoph Eschenbach, among many others. 

Also an active philanthropist, Pine has led the Rachel Barton Pine (RBP) Foundation for over 20 years. Noticing that young people learning classical music seldom have the opportunity to study and perform music written by Black composers, Pine launched her foundation’s Music by Black Composers (MBC) project in 2001, where she also serves as music editor. 

The project curates free repertoire directories on its website and publishes print resources, including pedagogical books of music by Black classical composers worldwide.

MBC’s Volume 2 follows Pine’s 2018 release Music By Black Composers Violin Vol. 1, a book of 22 pieces aimed at Suzuki Book 1 to 2 playing level. The works include audio and video recordings of the piano and second violin accompaniment

Volume 2 comprises two books of works from across the 1700s to the present, with composers from North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. The pieces are aimed at students at a Suzuki Book 3 and 4 playing level and are ordered in level of difficulty. 

Since its founding, MBC has collected over 900 works by more than 450 Black composers from the 18th to 21st centuries. It took Pine around 300 hours to arrange the 29 piano parts from MBC Violin Vol. 2 into violin accompaniments.

Both volumes also include the composer’s biographies, features on Black classical music making throughout history, and profiles of Black role models in classical music, past and present.

Additionally, pedagogical reference recordings by Pine are available that match the bowings, fingerings, and tempos on the music. The artist recordings feature violinists Randall Goosby and Hannah White, who play their own renditions of the pieces with pianists Zhu Wang and Matthew Hagle

MBC plans to publish more volumes for cello, viola, bass, and a series for carillon, and will release music for wind and brass instruments, band, orchestra, and chamber ensembles.

The live unboxing of Music by Black Composers Violin Vol. 2 with Pine can be viewed below. 

She was joined by Sphinx Laureates, Music Institute of Chicago Artists of Tomorrow scholars, and members of Sphinx Virtuosi, Sphinx Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, D-Composed Chamber Music Collective, and Chicago Youth Symphony. 



The RBP Foundation also assists emerging artists through its Instrument Loan Program, Grants for Education and Career, Global HeartStrings (supporting classical musicians in developing countries), and a curricular series in development with the University of Michigan — The String Students’ Library of Music by Black Composers. 

With a discography of over 40 recordings spanning various genres from Baroque to rock music, Pine teaches at universities, adjudicates music competitions, and also serves on the board of the Sphinx Organization and other not-for-profit organizations.

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