Violins And Halloween Are The Perfect Match

Oct 30, 2020

It has been said that “Music can soothe the savage beast.” But sometimes music can be used to heighten the fright. A Chicago violinist is using her instrument to celebrate Halloween during the 18th episode of her free virtual weekly show.  

Rachel Barton Pine started doing "Family Fridays with RBP" when the pandemic hit. She said she thought it would be nice to do something for the entire family.  

“The fact that people can tune in from anywhere on the planet, the fact that people who are too, you know, old or frail to go out to concerts or too young and wiggly, they can just all watch it," Pine said. 

She said the Halloween episode will show the violin’s duality.  

“The violin is one of the great instruments of romance. You know, when you think of people falling in love you think of violins playing," she expressed. "And yet, the violin is also considered to be the instrument of the devil, and responsible for inspiring people to debauchery.” 

Pine started playing the violin at the age of three. She shared that she made her solo debut with a professional orchestra at age seven and started writing her own cadenzas at 17.

“But after I did it, I realized, wait a sec, doing your own cadenza... it's not about whether yours is better than some other famous violinist's cadenza," she explained. "It's actually about the fact that yours is the most personal to yourself.”

In addition to the weekly series, Pine is also doing work for her foundation Music by Black Composers. In 2019, she interviewed for NPR’s All Things Considered about this project.

Pine said that she was scheduled with her nine-year-old daugher to play in the Rockford Symphony Orchestra earlier this year but the pandemic stole that moment. 

"Family Fridays with RBP" airs online every week at 11:30 a.m. The "Happy Halloween" episode takes place the day before the holiday. The series can be found on YouTube and Facebook Live.    

  • Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at