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McPherson, Kansas – A common phrase often stated when describing a great pianist is the phrase, “Tickling the ivories”. Mr. Sam Rotman, the 2021 Chaney Music Symposium guest at Central Christian College of Kansas (CCCK), definitely took that saying to another level during his performances at CCCK.
On October 18th, Mr. Rotman began his day as the guest speaker for Chapel. There, he wowed students, faculty, and staff alike with his piano playing as he previewed a few Beethoven works that he would be performing that night. More importantly, Mr. Rotman, a devout Christian, gave an inspiring message to the attendees about his Christian testimony – challenging students to get to know Christ better – as well as the importance of studying and not wasting college education.
Throughout the day, Mr. Rotman also spoke to various music classes, including Music Theory I, Music History III, and concert choir. He also presided over a masterclass that consisted of four applied piano students of the college, where he presented invaluable feedback to the performers and the rest of Dr. Brett Janssen’s (CC ’01) piano studio.
The symposium concluded with an evening concert that consisted entirely of Beethoven’s works, including Sonata no. 1, Sonata no. 8, Sonata no. 26, and Six Variations of the “Turkish March.” Not only was Mr. Rotman’s playing inspiring to those in attendance, but the presentation of his testimony was encouraging as well. The all-Beethoven sonata was in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth – music which Mr. Rotman is currently performing in churches, colleges, and concert halls around the world. His tour will culminate with two concerts scheduled around Beethoven’s birthdate less than one kilometer from his house in Bonn, Germany.
Mr. Rotman received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City, NY. While a student, he was the recipient of nine awards in the form of grants, scholarships, and prizes. Subsequently, he has been among the winners in five piano competitions, both in the United States and Europe. The most prestigious award was that of Laureate Winner in the 4th International Beethoven Competition in Vienna, Austria. In 1978, Mr. Rotman participated in the 6th International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, Russia. In May 2016, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from The Master’s College where Dr. John MacArthur is President. He is the only recipient of such an Honorary Doctorate in the school’s history. Mr. Rotman has given over 3,000 performances in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Southeast Asia, South Africa, India, China, and Russia, totaling 61 countries.
Mr. Rotman has devoted a specific area of his musical life to the study and performance of the works of Beethoven. Beginning with a series of all Beethoven concerts in 1970 (the Beethoven bi‑centennial), he was presented on Public Broadcast System in a special Beethoven concert. Mr. Rotman continues to perform the works of Beethoven in recitals and with orchestras.
ABOUT THE CHANEY MUSIC SYMPOSIUM
The Chaney Music Symposium was established by a memorial gift in memory of Edris (CC ’23) and Albert (CC ’24) Chaney. Albert served faithfully for 43 years as a member of the Central Christian College Board of Trustees. His wife, Edris, was a devoted wife and mother whose love for the Lord was expressed through her musical talents. The Chaney’s three children and several of their grandchildren have attended Central.
ABOUT CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF KANSAS
Central Christian College of Kansas is a regionally accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Central strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person – heart, mind, soul, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central go to centralchristian.edu/about. Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up.