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 Boston-based violinist, improviser, composer, and teaching artist. She has been an artist-in-residence in neighborhoods, in schools, and in Zion and Acadia National Parks. Rachel performs Classical music with the Cardamom Quartet, is a dance fiddler with French Roast, and weaves stories with Thread Ensemble (an improvisatory trio of violins, voices and vibraphone) and with Grammy award-winner Bill Harley. Rachel’s music is featured on a PBS Utah Bucket List episode, and the National Park Service’s “100 Years of Arts in the Parks” video series.

Rachel specializes in teaching improvisation and fiddling, and works regularly with a number of music education organizations and schools around Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In 2009, Rachel founded Rhode Island Fiddle Project, a free music program teaching traditional fiddle and dance music to students ages 7-17, and is currently a Resident Musician with performance and education organization, musiConnects. In 2015 she was chosen as a Jubilation Fellow, a national award recognizing “individuals with an exceptional talent for helping young people feel fully alive through rhythm.”

Work Samples

Chilnualna Falls  (2015) for strings. Performed by Pallaver Strings and Cardamom Quartet in 2017.

“The piece was inspired by a 2015 visit to Yosemite National Park. It stems from that experience when you know you’re approaching a waterfall, but haven’t seen it yet.”

Out & Back / Menu Falls Jig (2014). Performed by Rachel Panitch, violin and Ariel Friedman, cello.

“Written under the Artist-in-Residence Program at Zion National Park, Utah. 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.”

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