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'Bach's Music Was Church' for Violinist Rachel Barton Pine

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Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
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Violinist Rachel Barton Pine

Chicago-based harpsichordist, conductor and early music specialist, Jory Vinikour, founded the Great Lakes Baroque series last year. This Friday, Vinikour will be joined by another Chicago-based early music specialist, violinist Rachel Barton Pine.

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Credit Photo by Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Window of Bach at St. Paul's United Church of Christ (UCC) in Chicago.

For Pine, Bach is by far her favorite composer in the Baroque era. His faith is infused in everything he wrote. "It's never absent from all of his music. That spiritual quality, I think, is in all of his works, whether they're explicitly sacred music or not. That sense of music being something greater than ourselves," she says.

Pine grew up in a church with a beautiful sanctuary, with carved wood and stained glass. There was one stained glass window in particular that stood out to Pine. It was of Bach in the company of other biblical and religious figures, which made him seen just as important, she explains.

"To me, Bach's music was church, and it was sort of inseparable," Pine says.

She has been studying Baroque era music with specialists in historically informed performance practice.

Pine has a baroque violin and a modern violin, but plays predominantly with the modern violin because, she explains, "it's hard enough to travel on an airplane with one [violin]." But, she says she always plays with her baroque bow. 

Pine and Vinikour will play the music of Bach for the season-ending performance by Great Lakes Baroque Friday evening at the North Shore Congregational Church in Fox Point. 

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.