Keeping Beethoven Alive!
By Malachi Williams, Student Writer
ANKENY, Iowa–Jewish-born pianist Sam Rotman captivated students with his performance of the works of Beethoven on Saturday, November 7, 2020, during Faith’s annual Guest Artist Concert.
Mr. Rotman attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in piano performance. This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of classical music’s most prominent figures, Ludwig von Beethoven. In memoriam, Mr. Rotman performed four of Beethoven’s most famous works including Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Sonata No. 8 in C Minor “Pathetique,” Sonata No. 26 in E Flat Major “Lebewohl,” and Six Variations in D Major, Op. 76 “Turkish March.”
Students had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Rotman’s testimony on his conversion from an Orthodox Jew to devout Christianity. “On the outside, I was living the typical life of an Orthodox Jew, but I didn’t actually know the true Savior.” Mr. Rotman also told the story of his family who were immigrants to America from Romania and Czech Slovakia. He was raised as an Orthodox Jew, but through his time at Juilliard, became exposed to Christianity and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. Mr. Rotman stated that “God has never missed one of my concerts.
God always says to me before a concert, ‘I look forward to hearing you play for me, Sam.’” This is the mindset we as Christians should have in our careers.
During his weekend at Faith, Mr. Rotman was able to play for split chapels, and speak to the students about taking advantage of the knowledge that is before us at college. He also played a brief excerpt from Beethoven’s Sonata in F Minor and gave a masterclass to the music majors where Logan Scheps, Kevin Kendziora, Rebecca Franklin, Jason Bausch, and I played a variety of pieces for Mr. Rotman. He gave constructive criticism on pedaling, phrasing, and the interpretation of the pieces we’re learning.
On Saturday evening, Mr. Rotman performed his works by Beethoven with energy and zeal. His love for God, the art of music, and the excellence of Beethoven was on display and showed through his attitude of humility for Christ and his admiration for the great composer.
Let us all have an attitude of servitude toward Christ on a daily basis no matter where we are or what we’re doing.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”