Monday, April 18, 2016

MUSIC WITH A PURPOSE - Rachel Barton Pine

"From poverty to prodigy: star violinist turns to other musicians in need" PBS NewsHour 4/15/2016


SUMMARY:  Rachel Barton Pine is one of the most accomplished violinists in the world, but her upbringing wasn't one of privilege -- as a ten-year-old prodigy with an out-of-work father, she bought her concert clothes in thrift stores and relied on space heaters for warmth.  Now, Pine uses her success to help other disadvantaged violinists escape poverty.  Jeffrey Brown reports.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  And told them a bit about herself.

RACHEL BARTON PINE:  And we were often one missed payment away from losing the roof over our heads, which was the scariest thing of all when I was a little kid.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Pine, in fact, knows something of the plight of her audience.  Her father was mostly unemployed, and the family had to scrape by.

RACHEL BARTON PINE:  So, We had these three sort of grocery crates rescued from the garbage and this one little electric heater.  And I would rotate it every 10 minutes, so that, as part of me was warming up and thawing, another part would be starting to freeze.

But we had to do unusual things, like get my concert clothes from a thrift store and try to fix them up to be something presentable for stage.

JEFFREY BROWN:  These days, Pine tours the world a good part of the year, traveling with her husband, Greg, who serves as her manager, and their 4-year-old daughter.

But she feels a pull to give back wherever she goes.

RACHEL BARTON PINE:  Sometimes, I go to hospitals.  I have even been to prisons, and just wherever music can uplift people’s spirits.  That’s the meaning of being a musician.

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