Monday, September 10, 2012

Violinist Odin Rathnam announces new concert series in Harrisburg!

I got this news today from violinist Odin Rathnam, who is the former concertmaster of the Harrisburg Symphony and a noted concert violinist who is also known for his work with the West Branch Festival and Academy in the Catskills.  The concert series mentioned below is of special interest to our friends and readers in Pennsylvania, although this is also within a few hours drive of New York State.  Best of luck to Odin, the HSO, and the other participants in the series!
September 10th, 2012: Former Harrisburg Symphony Concertmaster Odin Rathnam announces new "Classical Passion Series" at the Forum in Harrisburg, Pa.

Odin Rathnam, the former concertmaster of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, has announced a new benefit concert series at the Forum, titled “Classical Passion”.

The series of three concerts benefits the Else Borges Foundation for Arts Initiatives, as well as other local non-profit organizations. Mr. Rathnam made a promise to Harrisburg audiences this Spring that he would continue to bring both Symphony subscribers and the broader community the music they’ve come to expect from him, during his distinguished 21 year tenure as concertmaster of the HSO. This concert series fulfills that promise.

Classical Passion kicks off on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 3 pm , with a recital featuring Odin Rathnam and the world famous collaborative pianist Robert Koenig. The program includes Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne (the opener for Rathnam’s critically acclaimed 1993 Lincoln Center debut) Mozart Sonata in B Flat Major, K.454, Henri Wieniawski’s lush “Legende” and Pablo de Sarasate’s virtuosic “Zigeunerweisen”.

The second program “Odin Rathnam & Friends, an Afternoon of Chamber Music “ takes place Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 3 pm, and includes the monumental quintets of both Schumann and Brahms. Rathnam is joined on stage by Koenig again, as well as distinguished colleagues from the United States and Europe.

The inaugural season of the “Classical Passion Series” comes to a stirring climax on Sunday, June 23, 2013, when Rathnam, Pro Musicis Ensemble, conductor Gregory Woodbridge and top young talents from the region and beyond work intensively for a week, side by side, to bring “Fire and Ice- Eight Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla” to the Harrisburg Audience. Rathnam made highly successful debuts with the Randers Chamber Orchestra in November/December of 2011, playing and conducting these works for three concerts in Denmark, just before receiving the DES Cultural Prize in Copenhagen. He was immediately re-engaged by the Randers Chamber Orchestra for the ‘13-‘14 season.

“I have enjoyed many fruitful and inspiring collaborations with Gregory Woodbridge over recent seasons.” Rathnam says . “His musicianship, combined with a strong sense of how to work with young artists is critical to this concert , which culminates the eight day training program .” Area students will have the opportunity to audition for the program, which will ultimately select a total of 17 students to participate, for the nominal tuition fee of $300 for the entire 8 day program. There will be master classes in addition to the rehearsals and sectionals for the program, allowing students to explore their solo repertoire under the guidance of the distinguished artists leading them. “Students will be invited to audition on the basis of recommendations from area teachers and artists,” Rathnam adds. “We are currently selecting our artist faculty, which I am certain will inspire the students, and ensure that June 23rd’s program represents a true culmination of this first season of concerts.“ Vivaldi’s Seasons are a mainstay of the concert repertoire. Rathnam gave highly praised performances of them with the HSO in 2006, and recorded them in 2008 with the Pro Musicis Ensemble, conducted by Stephen Gunzenhauser. Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires “ have become a sensation worldwide, exploring the seasons through the eyes and ears of Astor Piazzolla’s unique “Tango Nuevo” style. The version being performed is the arrangement of Desyatnikov, originally created for violinist Gidon Kremer. “This is music of incredible rhythms and tremendous emotional tension,” adds Rathnam.

“These three concerts really serve two main purposes. In 2008, after the sudden death of my beloved mother, Else Borges, I created the Else Borges Foundation for Arts Initiatives, to honor the memory of her charitable philosophies. Since that time, we have disbursed over $17,000 to music students from our region and beyond, for summer study. These concerts aim to replenish scholarship funds and guarantee new disbursements for projects in the future. Several of the participating students in the final program have been recipients of grants, helping them attend West Branch International Festival and Academy, Charles Castleman’s Quartet Program , the Academia de Verao in Portugal and master classes with Odin Rathnam in Silkeborg, Denmark.” Secondly, when I announced my departure from the Harrisburg Symphony, I made a promise to keep bringing the art I love to this community, just in new and exciting ways. I hope this new series, as well as my solo appearances with the orchestras of Hershey and the West Shore help to fulfill that pledge! In addition, we have decided to make gifts this season to three other regional non-profits from the area, the Cultural Enrichment Fund, the World Surgical Foundation, and Harrisburg Habitat for Humanity. We at the EBF believe in the Arts’ roles in supporting larger human causes, and wanted to show solidarity with other groups that are doing important work here and worldwide.”

Rathnam began his historic tenure as concertmaster of the HSO in November of 1991. He is credited by many for leading a period of tremendous development of the string sound of that ensemble and its musical development, serving under three music directors, performing concerti of Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Korngold, Haydn, as well as virtuosic show pieces by Sarasate, Ravel, Chausson, Paganini, Kreisler, and more. His tenure attracted top classmates and colleagues from Curtis, Juilliard and other leading conservatories to join the burgeoning ensemble, where his enthusiasm and commitment to the HSO’s reputation and development also served as an anchor for the orchestra during two consecutive conductor searches.

For more information on the concerts and to purchase tickets online or donate online, visit
 and search for Odin Rathnam. For information on how to support the Else Borges Foundation for Arts Initiatives, you may visit
 . To follow Odin Rathnam’s concert activities and more , visit his official Facebook page , “Violinist Odin Rathnam”

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