For the Anchorage Daily News
Neale Caffin, Parent and Public Relations
Northwest Arctic Borough School District
February 11, 2009
A Winter Music Extravaganza in Kotzebue
Music is the universal language, and it was speaking clearly to all who attended the 2009 Winter Music Festival in Kotzebue on Tuesday evening, February 10. Through the partnership efforts of the Northwest Arctic Borough School District and the Sitka Summer Musical Festival coordinators, three world-renowned musicians flew into the cold weather of Kotzebue and heated up the June Nelson Elementary School auditorium with their electrifying talents. The classical music festival was free to the public and thoroughly enjoyed by all. Each an internationally acclaimed musician, the three musicians pianist Arnulf Von Arnim, celloist Armen Ksajikian, and violinist Paul Rosenthal, provided an evening of classical music including the works of classical composers Frederic Chopin and Franz Schubert.
Arnulf Von Arnim, a German classical pianist and teacher, first started piano lessons at the young age of five. His exceptional musical talents allowed him to study piano in both Germany and France. Von Arnim is a past winner of several international music competitions and has performed as a soloist in orchestral concerts throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States. He was first appointed as a music teacher at the Frankfurt Academy of Music in 1977 and Professor of Music at Germany’s Dortmund Academy of Music since 1980. Von Arnim offers master classes regularly in Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia, and the United States. He has recorded concertos and sonatas by Schubert, Schumann, and Liszt. Additionally, he often sits as a jury member for international piano competitions.
Armen Ksajikian a classical celloist, began his professional career at the age of twelve with the National Philharmonic of Abkhazia in the former Soviet Union. Since his arrival in the United States in 1976, Ksajikian has established himself as a vital contributor to nearly every aspect of musical life of Los Angeles. He is admired for his artistry and beloved for his generosity and wonderful sense of humor. Ksajikian has performed as principal or soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber, Opus Chamber, and Hollywood Bowl orchestras, among many others. He has toured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra throughout Europe and New York, and with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra to Japan and Brazil. Additionally, Ksajikian has either played cello or acted in several blockbuster movies including The Show (2007), Disturbia (2007), Admissions (2004), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), and True Lies (1994).
Paul Rosenthal, a concert violinist, has been performing for over half-a-century, He has covered much of the globe, many times. Almost forty years ago good fortune brought him to Alaska, where the warmth of the concert public and of people in general, in addition to the beauty and bounty of Alaska’s nature, persuaded him that he had found a place that his passion for music might flourish. Long ago, Rosenthal imagined that other musicians would also find Alaska a special place to visit and make music. With that in mind, he created a festival of Chamber Music in the seacoast town of Sitka, Alaska. Each June, performers from all over the world come and share their musical talents with Sitka’s devoted audiences. Rosenthal’s violin, made by Joseph Guarnerius in 1706, is also a source of inspiration to him. He feels it is a very special sort of pleasure to commune with this beautiful instrument every day and to share its harmonic tones with others who have a passion for music.