PR_February 2, 2016_Exploring Classical Music From Russia, Armenia, Europe and Philadelphia_Fine Art Music Company

Media Contact:
Celeste Hardester

February 2, 2016

Exploring Classical Music From Russia, Armenia, Europe and Philadelphia –
Fine Art Music Company
Wraps Programs Around Humanist Issues of Today

 PHILADELPHIA: February 6-June 4, 2016, Fine Art Music Company (FAMC), founded by pianist, educator and arts entrepreneur Rollin Wilber, has announced the launch of its Spring 2016 concert season, co-presented with The Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia and the International Institute for Culture. The geography of composers and their material spans time periods and continents (even planets) as each program addresses pressing humanist themes of our days. The FAMC artists bring thematically-focused programs of chamber and vocal music and poetry from Russia (Russian Music Salon, Feb. 6-7), Philadelphia, USA (A Musical Ode to Earth, March 12-13), Armenia (Armenia’s Ark of Music – Part I, April 16-17), Europe and South America (Music Across Latitudes, June 3-4). Each program offers a live commentary and invites a post-concert discussion and reception with the artists.

According to the FAMC founder Rollin Wilber, the concert series presents “an opportunity to be inventive, and share many different kinds of classical music in ways that affect us personally. We create concerts that inspire us and offer human and philosophical interest for our listeners, presenting ideas and connections to spark the imagination.”

Opening the Spring season, Russian Music Salon (February 6-7) will immerse the audiences into the pure sounds of Russian classical piano music and art songs set to poetry of Alexander Pushkin, the father of the Russian literature. “The poetry of Pushkin has been always close to me since childhood, it is an organic presence in my life,” said Moscow-born mezzo-soprano Tatyana Rashkovsky. “The possibilities of this music’s interpretation are endless, and they always make me re-think and re-tune my art of sound, layers and expression of ideas hidden in the text and musical phrases.” Along with presenting such famous composers as Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Rimsky-Korsakov and Shostakovich, the program offers a discovery of a less known composer Nikolai Medtner (1879-1951), a close friend and highly treasured colleague of Rachmaninoff.

When Wilber learned of Philadelphia-based composer David Ludwig’s string quartet Pale Blue Dot and Ludwig’s passion for the environment, A Musical Ode to Earth (March 12-13) was conceived. Pale Blue Dot is inspired by the 1990 image by Voyager I spacecraft nearly 4 billion miles away from Earth and by Carl Sagan’s story about it. The dramatic trio Vox Balaenae (Voice of a Whale) for piano, flute and cello by Philadelphia’s contemporary composer George Crumb (b. 1929) will continue the compelling dialogue about humanistic values and the environmental issues. The musical experience will be enhanced by the lighting design, visual presentations, and live notes by Ludwig.

“When I share my ideas and passions about the music I am playing, openly and honestly with those who are listening, a mood develops naturally,” commented Wilber. “People respond in kind with openness, allowing us to listen together in a place of wonder, and better experience the magic and transcendence of great music… We humans are thinking, caring creatures, and the combination of our thirst for knowledge and understanding with our ability to react in such personal ways to music itself, is a powerful one.”



Tickets/ Information: or 215-803-9725. Also at the door.

Venues:       The Ethical Society Building, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq., Philadelphia 19103 (ES)

International Institute for Culture – Ivy Hall, 6331 Lancaster Ave, Phila, 19151 (IIC)

Saint Mark’s Church, 16th and Locust, Philadelphia, 19103 (SM)



Saturday, Feb. 6 at 8 pm, IIC

Sunday, Feb. 7 at 3 pm, ES

Piano works and romances by Rachmaninoff, Cui, Glinka, Medtner, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Shostakovich. Poetry by Alexander Pushkin.

With Mezzo-soprano Tatyana Rashkovsky, Pianists Katarzyna Marzec-Salwinski and Rollin Wilber, Poetry reading Inna Heasley (English translations provided).



Saturday, March 12 at 8 pm, IIC

Sunday, March 13 at 3 pm, ES

George Crumb: Vox Balaenae (Voice of a Whale)

David Ludwig: Pale Blue Dot, for string quartet



Saturday, April 16 at 8 pm, SM

Sunday, April 17 at 3 pm, ES

Vocal and instrumental music by Komitas Alan Hovhaness, Arno Babajanian and Petros Shoujounian

With Bass-Baritone Vartan Gabrielian, Soprano Anush Avetisyan



Friday, June 3 at 8 pm, IIC

Saturday, June 4 at 8 pm, ES

Maurice Ravel: Chansons madécasses

Heitor Villa-Lobos: TBA


IN RECITAL: Violin, Piano and Saxophone

Sunday, February 21 at 3 pm, IIC

Wednesday, February 24 at 7:30 pm, ES

Music by Claude Debussy, Paul Hindemith, Karol Szymanowski, Joan Tower, and Marc Eychenne

With Jonathan Moser, violin, Katarzyna Marzec-Salwinski, piano, and Jeremy Justeson, saxophone


IN RECITAL: Pawel Checinski, piano

Saturday, May 21 at 8 pm, ES

Piano works by Frederic Chopin, Enrique Granados, Franz Liszt, and Claude Debussy

** Program subject to change.


About Fine Art Music Company:

Founded in 2010 by pianist, educator and arts entrepreneur Rollin Wilber, FAMC presents compelling concert programs in intimate settings that allow close interaction with audience and musicians, in order to engage the listener’s mind and to share the potency of classical music with continual freshness of discovery. In 2014, FAMC launched its chamber music series co-presented with The Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia and the International Institute for Culture, and has presented such thematically oriented program as Harmony Across Barriers – Black Origins in American Classical Music, Oppression and Transcendence: Sounds of Reaction, Of War: Composing for Mankind, and others. Contact Rollin Wilber at 215-803-9725 or More at


Ivy Hall:

Ethical Society:

Saint Mark’s Church:


Artists Bios:

Rollin Wilber:

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