CAMP VERDE – He plays classical music, and he has devoted his life to both study and performance of Beethoven.
In 61 countries, he has given nearly 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.
A world-renowned classical pianist, Mesa resident Sam Rotman will play the Phillip England Center for the Performing Arts (210 Camp Lincoln Road) at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16.
Although he plays only classical music at his concerts, Rotman will also give his Christian testimony.
With about 80 members and “limited finances,” First Southern Baptist Church of Camp Verde has rented the England Center to bring Rotman to the Verde Valley.
“Since I know him personally and he likes to work with churches, he is giving us a break,” said Dana Burris, senior pastor of the Camp Verde Baptist church.
Burris also said that the Camp Verde Baptist church “want[s] to provide a free concert to the community.”
“We do not want to sell tickets or take a love offering,” Burris said. “Sam will have DVDs available that he will sell.”
To Burris, the Rotman performance is a “real cultural event and a great opportunity for our community and we need all the help we can get in getting the word out.”
Before the performance, Rotman is expected to “do a short performance” in our church and at Beaver Creek Baptist Church on the day of the concert “in our morning worship services.”
About Sam Rotman
According to a press release, Rotman made his debut at the age of 16 with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra in front of an audience of 6,000.
Rotman received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School in N.Y.C. While a student, he was the recipient of nine awards in the form of grants, scholarships, and prizes, including Laureate Winner in the 4th International Beethoven Competition in Vienna, Austria.
In 1978, Rotman participated in the Sixth International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, Russia.
In May 2016, Rotman received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from The Master’s College, the only recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in the school’s history.
For close to 20 years, Rotman was director of the Piano Department and served as director of the D’Angelo School of Music at Mercyhurst University for 10 years.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42