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Orrett Rhoden music festival on this month

Published:Sunday | February 3, 2013 | 12:00 AM

The second Orrett Rhoden International Music Festival of Jamaica will feature the celebrated Jamaican pianist Orrett Rhoden exclusively in three concerts where he will feature Johann Sebastian Bach and Frederic Chopin.

Rhoden chose to pay tribute this year to the two composers because his love and affinity for interpreting their music has been recognised internationally for many years.

This year's concerts will take place on February 10 at Sandals Royal Plantation Hotel in Ocho Rios; March 10 at Mountambrin Theatre Gallery in Withorn, Westmoreland; and the final concert will take the form of a live-streamed Internet broadcast of a recital at Devon House, Kingston, to mark the Queen's birthday on April 21.

Orrett Rhoden first received international acclaim after he was invited by the then Prime Minister The Most Hon Edward Seaga to perform for Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburg on their visit to Jamaica in early 1983.

After playing background music for the royal couple at Devon House in Kingston, Rhoden appeared in two BBC documentaries produced by Jenny Barraclough: Elizabeth the First 30 Years and As the Queen Passed By.

Subsequently, Rhoden was selected to make his orchestral debut with the London Symphony Orchestra at The Barbican in London in 1984, as well as appearing in a series of solo piano recitals in London's most prestigious concert halls.

In the 1980s, Orrett Rhoden achieved much success in Europe and North America, making his Carnegie Hall debut in New York at age 24 and appearing twice on the The Late Show hosted by Joan Rivers seen across America on FOX TV.

Honoured by Prime Minister

He has been featured in a number of interviews in publications such as People Magazine and the London Observer Magazine and has received critical acclaim from the New York Times and the London The Times among many others.

Rhoden is no stranger to Jamaican audiences and has been performing to large audiences in his homeland ever since winning the highest award at age 12 in the Jamaican National Festival.

In 2005, he was honoured by former Prime Minister The Most Hon P.J. Patterson with an award for outstanding achievement in music.

His annual international music festival aims to bring "the joy of music" to Jamaicans and visitors alike, and he is also scheduled to host his first international piano competition in November.

Proceeds from the concerts will go towards a grand piano. See the press for details regarding tickets.