Biography

Since his critically acclaimed Lincoln Center debut in 1993, the American violinist Odin Rathnam has established himself as one of the most passionate and versatile artists of his generation. He has received unanimous praise from critics and audiences for his “captivating temperament,” “brilliant technique” and “recalling the legendary violinists of the past”. A veteran performer at many major European and American festivals including the Algarve International Music Festival in Portugal, Denmark’s Tivoli and Vendsyssel Festivals, Deia International Festival in Mallorca, Aspen and Caramoor, he has also appeared in recital on the Market Square Concerts series, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall, where Rathnam first appeared at the age of 15. As a soloist, he has performed with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the New Amsterdam Symphony, the Columbian National Symphony, the Camden and Hayes Orchestras in England, the York Symphony, the Hershey Symphony, the Lancaster Symphony, the Central Pennsylvania Symphony and the Harrisburg Symphony, enjoying collaborations with conductors including Stuart Malina, Richard Westerfield, Stephen Gunzenhauser, Anne Harrigan and many others.

Highlights of recent seasons include Lalo Symphony Espagnole with the Hershey Symphony, Wieniawski f# minor violin concerto with the York Symphony, Erick Korngold violin concerto with the Harrisburg Symphony, collaborations as guest violist with the Ying Quartet and the Raphael Trio, and the complete sonatas for violin and piano of Johannes Brahms with pianist Stuart Malina. In March 2004, Mr. Rathnam gave the Columbian premier of Korngold concerto with the Columbian National Symphony Orchestra in Bogota, led by Charles Peltz. He then returned to the United States to perform the viola part for Mozart Symphonia Concertante with the Cleveland State University Orchestra under the baton of Victor Liva. In June and July 2004, Mr. Rathnam appeared as violinist and violist for several programs at the Boswil Festspiel in Switzerland, culminating in a performance on July 4th of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. The Harrisburg Symphony featured Mr. Rathnam as soloist in Tchaikovsky concerto at the 75th anniversary opening gala concert in October 2004.

The 2005-06 season included performances of concerti of Bernstein, Mozart and Bach with the Philadelphia Virtuosi, Mozart concerto #3 at the inaugural season of the Endless Mountain Music Festival with conductor Stephen Gunzenhauser, a recital/recording of French violin sonatas and chamber music concerts in the United States and Europe.

The 2006-07 season included return solo engagements at the Endless Mountain Music Festival and Market Square Summer Series, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with the orchestras of Harrisburg and Lancaster, virtuoso violin duos with Venezuelan violinst, Romulo Benevides on the Trinity Lutheran and “Music Naturally” Series and a Tivoli festival debut, performing Prokofiev Sonata for Two Violins with Nikolaj Znaider. The Danish newspaper, Kristelig Dagblad, hailed the “outstanding, full-blooded romantic violin playing by both players.”

Upcoming appearances include concerti and virtuoso showpieces with the newly founded Pennsylvania Chamber Symphony, with conductor Frank Collura, Prokofiev Concerto #1 with Stuart Malina and the Harrisburg Symphony, and a series of recitals tracing the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach to Piazzola and Corigliano.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Rathnam has performed frequently in Harrisburg, Baltimore and New York with Concertante, the internationally acclaimed chamber group he founded in 1995. His 2000 recording of Strauss “Metamorphosen” received the highest praise from Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine who wrote “[Concertante’s] performance [of the Strauss, Metamorphosen] is white-hot, so intensely felt and so superbly realized technically as to be almost beyond praise; they create their own benchmark in this version.”

Odin Rathnam has collaborated as a violinist and violist with leading artists of his generation including: violinists Nikolaj Znaider, Gil Shaham, Adele Anthony and Kurt Nikkanen; pianists Rohan De Silva, Albert Tiu, Robert Koenig and Anton Nel; and cellists Matt Haimowitz, Bion Tsang, Laszlo Fenyo and Daniel Gaisford, The Fry Street, Casal and Ying Quartets and the Rafael Trio.

Mr. Rathnam is extremely committed to the development of young musicians and his numerous students have been accepted at major conservatories throughout the United States and abroad, several going on to win prizes in national and international competitions. He currently serves as a performing faculty member at the Nordic Music Academy in Denmark.

Mr. Rathnam has performed extensively on American and European radio and television, including the major classical stations of New York, Washington and Harrisburg as well as coast to coast broadcasts on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and CBS’s 60 Minutes.

Born in 1965 to Danish and Indian parents, Odin Rathnam was raised on the Upper-West Side of Manhattan. He was accepted at the Julliard School’s pre-college division at the age of 11, continuing his formal education at Mannes College of Music with Sally Thomas and at the Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Dorothy DeLay. He studied chamber music with Felix Galimir and Josef Gingold. He also studied with the Danish violinist Anker Buch.

Mr. Rathnam has recorded for the Helicon, Kleos and ABM labels. He performs on a rare Italian violin crafted by Bartolomeo Calvarola in 1755.