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Internationally acclaimed Jamaican pianist, Orrett Rhoden will make his New York orchestral debut on Sunday, April 2, at Carnegie Hall in New York City.Rhoden, will be one of two soloists to be featured in the concert, which will benefit the Maxfield Park Children’s Home in Kingston and the AIDS Children project in Zimbabwe.
In addition to Rhoden, the programme will feature Mark di Pinto on piano with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, under the direction of noted composer, Dr. Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse and the Pro Arts International Choir, led by Francisco de Araujo.
Classical music enthusiasts will be in for a treat, as the Jamaican virtuoso will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major, K488 and Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op. 22 by Chopin. The programme will also feature original African and Jamaican folk songs collected and transcribed by Rittenhouse and sung by the Pro Arts International Choir.
Rhoden, who played as a soloist at Carnegie Hall in 1985 and 2003, said he was pleased to return to the venue. He said that through his art, he hoped to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate people in Jamaica and around the world.
“Jamaica is not just for reggae. It’s for all types of music. I see my role as bringing classical music in a fresh and unique way not only to Jamaicans, but to people all over the world. An artist’s mission is to bring about joy and peace. I think that my mission is to do just that,” said Rhoden.
One of the high points of Rhoden’s career was meeting Arthur Rubinstein, the renowned master pianist from Poland. He recalled that after playing Chopin for the master, Rubinstein declared unreservedly, “you have a rare talent. Some pianists are not musicians, and some musicians are not pianists, but you, young man are both”.
He subsequently received a coveted invitation to perform at an all Chopin recital in the composer’s birthplace in Zelazowa Wola in 1985.
Rhoden has also studied with Dr. Rittenhouse; Rosalyn Tureck, one of the world’s greatest Bach interpreters, and Russian Nina Svettanova.
Tickets for the benefit performance can be purchased at www.carnegiehall.org.