Seldovia Arts Council Concert in Seldovia, Alaska                            Home Page

February 6, 2007


Winter Classics Concert Series - Chamber Music

On Tuesday, February 7, 2007 the Seldovia Arts Council together with the Alaska State Council on the Arts sponsored the Winter Classic Concert bringing concert maestros: Paul Rosenthal, violin; Doris Stevenson, piano; and Ammen Ksajikan, cello. A variety of classical music was played including some humorous music from Russia and a spectacular performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 66. This was an exceptional evening for those who enjoyed chamber music and who understood the difficulty of the music which was so artistically performed. Our thanks go out to the musicians and those responsible for making it possible for quality musicians to come to our community and share their music with us.

Special thanks to Susan Mumma, Darleen Fernandez (Executive Director, Sitka Music Festival) and Mary Glover for making the arrangements possible to host these fantastic musicians in Seldovia. Also thanks to the Seldovia Native Association for the lodging donation at the Bayview Suites.


Afternoon Workshop for violin by Paul Rosenthal
Afternoon Workshop for piano by Doris Stevenson

Pianist Doris Stevenson, Artist in Residence at Williams College , divides her time between Williamstown , Massachusetts and New York City where she is a busy recitalist, chamber musician and teacher.  Her acute sensitivity and profound musicality have made her a sought-after partner with some of the leading lights in string playing. She has appeared as collaborative partner with Gregor Piatigorsky, Ruggiero Ricci and Paul Tortelier, great string players of the past.   She has soloed with the Boston Pops, played at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Wahington D.C., Salle Pleyel in Paris and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

She is a founding member of the Sitka Summer Music Festival  and has participated in many other chamber music festivals, including the Grand Canyon Festival, Steamboat Springs in the Mountains, Park City International Festival and Chamber Music/L.A.  She served for ten years on the piano faculty of the University of Southern California where she was also pianist for the master classes of Gregor Piatigorsky. 

Her recordings include  the Saint Saens violin sonatas with Andres Cardenes on the  Arabesque label and the complete Mendelssohn cello works with Jeffrey Solow for Centaur, as well as three CDs with cellist Nathaniel Rosen:  the Brahms Sonatas for JMR records plus two albums of romantic pieces entitled "Reverie" and "Orientale"  for Northstar.  A recent Stravinsky CD with violinist Mark Peskanov received a Grammy nomination.


Paul Rosenthal began playing violin at the age of three. He studied with Dorothy DeLay and Ivan Galamian at The Juilliard School and with Jascha Heifetz at the University of Southern California. Rosenthal has made his home in Alaska since 1969 and has enjoyed performing hundreds of concerts in every corner of the state. In 1972, Rosenthal founded the Sitka Summer Music Festival in Sitka, Alaska. The festival attracts musicians and audiences from many countries and around the United States and is recognized as one of the outstanding music festivals in the country. He also directs the Festival’s affiliated Autumn Classics and Winter Classics series in Anchorage. An active violin soloist and chamber musician, Rosenthal tours regularly in America, Europe and the Orient. He has served on the faculty of the University of Alaska in both Fairbanks and Anchorage and has given master classes in Europe, Japan and Korea. He can be heard in recording on the RCA, Vox, Fidelio, Pelican and Biddulph labels. Rosenthal has also composed works on Alaskan themes. His Bravura Variations on “Alaska’s Flag” and “Alaskan Overture” have been heard in many countries around the globe. He holds honorary degrees as doctor of music from Alaska Pacific University and Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Rosenthal performs on a violin made by Joseph Guarnerius in Cremona in 1706.


Armen Ksajikian, Cello
Widely hailed as one of the greatest cellists in north-central Eagle Rock, California, Armen Ksajikian began his professional career at age 12 with the Abkhazian State Philharmonic in his native (former) Soviet Union. Since arriving in the United States in 1976, he has been very active in the musical life of Los Angeles, having appeared as soloist and/or principal cellist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Opus Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena, Pacific, Long Beach, Glendale, New West and Santa Monica Symphonies and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra as well as with the Bolshoi, Kirov, Stuttgart, Joffrey, Royal and American Ballet Theatre Orchestras. He toured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to New York and throughout Europe and with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to Japan and Brazil. Ksajikian has participated in many music festivals including the Cabrillo, Colorado, Banff, Sitka, Venice Film, Fairbanks Summer Arts, Oregon Bach and Juneau Jazz and Classics.

As a member of the distinguished Armadillo String Quartet since 1982, Ksajikian has been involved in such daring events as a 34 ½ - hour marathon performance of the complete quartets of Joseph Haydn, as well as concerts from the top of the Mendenhall Glacier to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and from Hong Kong’s City Hall to New York’s Carnegie Hall, where the Armadillo Quartet gave the world of P.D.Q. Bach’s String Quartet “The Moose”.

Since 2002 Armen’s new repertoire of “Dance Music From Around the World” has received critical acclaim at such venues as the Jasper Festival of Music and Wine in Canada, the Ninth International Cello Encounter in Rio de Janeiro, Albert College’s Centennial Celebrations in Edmonton and throughout Alaska. For Armen as a quartet player 2004 has been an awarding year: the California String Quartet, of which he is a member, was nominated for “Most Outstanding Classical Music Group” by the L.A. Weekly and less than a month later the Armadillo String Quartet was picked as “Best String Quartet 2004” by Los Angeles Magazine. In addition to many of Peter Schickele’s compositions, Ksajikian has premiered works by John Cage, Miklos Rosza, John Williams, Mel Powell, Henry Mancini, Randy Newman, John Adams, Chick Corea and many others. In 1985 Ksajikian was invited to perform with Jascha Heifetz in his master classes. In 1993 Ksajikian made his film limousine-driving debut in the action thriller True Lies starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Armen occasionally plays the role of Baroque cellist with several early music ensembles in the Los Angeles area. He can also be found in numerous Hollywood recording orchestras, with over 900 motion picture soundtracks to his credit. Armen’s hobbies include white water rafting, poker, backgammon and playing concertos with the Southland’s symphony orchestras.