Rachel Panitch

Rachel Panitch
Based in Boston, MA
Website: rachelpanitch.com

“Most of the music I perform is ‘place music’—it’s passed down by ear by people who live in a particular place. Then I go and perform or teach it somewhere where it’s ‘out-of-place.’ When I compose and improvise, I enjoy pulling from the particular place I’m in, seeing how the unique environment will impact the sounds I choose to put together.


Rachel Panitch is a fiddler, teacher, composer and improviser living in the Boston area. She is a contra dance fiddler with bands French Roast and Pizzazz, performs Classical music with the Cardamom Quartet, and tells stories with Thread Ensemble: an improvisatory trio of violins, voices and vibraphone. She has recorded with The Bourbon Boys, Tallahassee, Jason Tyler Burton, and Neha Jiwrajka. Rachel’s fiddling was part of the Emmy-nominated soundtrack for the 2009 PBS documentary “The Mosque in Morgantown.” She has been an artist-in-residence in neighborhoods, in schools, and most recently, in Zion National Park.

A graduate of Vassar College, Rachel completed work in Anthropology and Music focusing on aural learning in folk music communities and the documentation of early American fiddle music. Rachel received her Masters of Music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory in 2013. She has studied with Carla Kihlstedt, Hankus Netsky, Nicholas Kitchen and Tanya Kalmanovitch.

Audio Samples

The following works were produced under the Artist-in-Residence Program by Rachel Panitch at Zion National Park, Utah.

Menu Falls Jig (2014) for violin. Performed by Rachel Panitch.

“Inspired by beautiful, little Menu Falls—a waterfall a little off the beaten path. It’s name comes from the fact that it was pictured on the front of the first-ever menu at the original Zion Lodge.”

Impressions: Zion Canyon (2014) for string quartet. Live recording by Cardamom String Quartet (Lisa Goddard, Rachel Panitch, Eve Boltax, Ariel Friedman), 2014.

“First impressions of Zion Canyon’s steep angles and striking colors, including a visit to Weeping Rock, led to this string quartet piece.”

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