Sean Botkin, University of Northern Iowa School of Music faculty artist and associate professor of piano, was invited to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 2. The concert was held at the Ravinia Festival Pavilion in Highland Park, Ill., during the Ravinia Festival, the oldest outdoor music festival in the U.S. held every summer from June to September.
Botkin performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 40. The concerto is rarely performed and will receive its first Ravinia performance in a decade. The performance at Ravinia was a highlight for Botkin's already impressive career. "It is like a dream come true for me to perform at Ravinia and especially with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world," said Botkin. "It is certainly a milestone in my career." Botkin also received invitations to perform in Italy and Russia this year.
Botkin began studying piano at the age of five, making his first orchestral performance four years later with the Honolulu Symphony. He later graduated from Stanford University and the Julliard School in New York.
"Botkin's performance at Ravinia was an amazing concert that kicked off the 120th anniversary of our school's founding as a department," said John Vallentine, director of UNI's School of Music. "The concert was a wonderful way to begin our celebration by highlighting the virtuoso playing of Sean Botkin with the incredible musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For a faculty member to receive such an invitation is truly an incredible lifetime achievement."