The Center for the Arts (CFA) at the College of Staten Island (CSI) presents one of the most fascinating violinists of the new generation, Linus Roth, on Monday, October 19 at 7:30pm. Tickets are free but reservations are required. On Saturday, October 24 at 8:00pm, the CFA will sizzle with salsa rhythms from El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico in “Gran Noche de Salsa” (Great Night of Salsa). This event is co-presented with DOCO Entertainment LLC and tickets are $80 and $90. Both performances will be presented in the Springer Concert Hall.

Thanks to the continued support of Dr. Michael Shugrue, the CFA is now able to present four free classical music concerts this season. Kicking off the classical concerts is Linus Roth who will be accompanied by the talented José Gallardo on piano. Linus Roth was born in Ertingen, Southern Germany. His talent was recognized when he was 12 years old by a professor at the Music Academy Freiburg. He has performed at the Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern and Berlin, the Orquesta de Cordoba, Philharmonic Orchestra of Nice, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, among many others. In 1997 Roth was given the violin “Dancla,” for an indefinite period of time, made by the luthier Antonio Stradivarius in 1703. At present, this violin belongs to the LB Württemberg Bank Foundation, which has bestowed Roth with the privilege of using it. Roth is accompanied by José Gallardo who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he began playing the piano at the age of five. Receiving many awards, Gallardo has played at the Festival of Chamber Music in Lockenhaus (Germany), Festival of Asiago (Italy), along with concerts in Europe, Asia, Israel, and South America. This year’s performance consists of works from composers such as Felix Mendelssohn, Joseph-Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, and Karol Szymanowski.

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico performed for the first time in San Juan in 1962 and soon became the island’s most popular salsa group. For many fans, El Gran Combo is synonymous with salsa—a musical genre that fuses Cuban and Puerto Rican sounds. El Gran Combo has always stayed true to the salsa style; the group balances a vibrant horn section and a rhythmic percussion beat, tempered by the less-prominent bass and piano. One secret to El Gran Combo’s long-lived success has been the group’s ability to keep its music evolving and to remain open to new fresh sounds. Officially named “Ambassadors of Our Music” by the Puerto Rican Senate, El Gran Combo’s many hits include such classics as “El Menu” and “Timablero.” Their album Arroz Habichuelas (rice and beans) won the group a 2005 Latin Grammy award. The latest incarnation of the 13-piece band has toured Latin America earlier this year to dazzle their loyal fans. The salsa duo NG2 will be opening.

The CFA is easily reached by car from I-278, campus parking lots 1 and 2 are recommended. By MTA, take the S62, 61, 93, 53, and the Staten Island Ferry with connections to the bus.

The CSI Center for the Arts 2009-2010 season is supported, in part, with funds from the Richmond County Savings Foundation; a gift by the Carnegie Corporation (made possible by an anonymous donor); the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Office of the Borough President, Hon. James P. Molinaro; Dr. Michael Shugrue; the College of Staten Island; and by our many business and individual patrons.

For more information visit the CFA online or call 718.982.ARTS (2787).

Violinist Linus Roth’s concert is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Michael Shugrue.