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Jeff Lindsay is an author of Conquering Innovation Fatigue. See for more info.
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Saturday, March 31, 2007


World Famous Violinist, Rachel Barton Pine, Stuns Audience at Ripon College

Thanks to a generous donation from the Ripon family in Ripon, Wisconsin, one of the world's truly great violinists, Rachel Barton Pine, was on the Ripon College campus last night performing with the Ripon College Orchestra, directed by the extremely talented and energetic conductor, Russell Rolen.

Rachel has incredible control of her instrument - a 1742 Stradivarius that I understand is valued at over $3 million. With fabulous skill across all registers, Rachel did things that many of us didn't even think were possible. She wrote the credenza she played in Paganini's Concerto No. 2 in B minor ("La Clochetete") - a piece written to showcase virtuoso violinists. In this credenza, in addition to breathtaking musicality across a gigantic dynamic range, she had moves that I can only describe as "ninja-like" in which she was plucking the violin strings with her left hand as she continued bowing normally, making it sound as if one or two additional violins were plucking behind her while she played - but it was all her.

My son, Benjamin Lindsay, a high school senior at Appleton East, was privileged to be one of the cellists for this performance. He said that working with Rachel was an amazing experience. She's also a very personable and interesting person, and I was happy to chat with her for just a few seconds after the performance. And of course, I bought a CD (would have bought more if I had only had more cash on hand!).

You learn more about her and watch some amazing videos at Rachel's MySpace page.

Ripon is about 40 minutes from Appleton. It's a beautiful small town with a fine college, and is one more source of excellent fine arts in northeastern Wisconsin, a truly great place to live.