Marina’s Piano Journey

April 15, 2012

When Yugoslavia-born pianist Marina Arsenijevic performs, her harrowing journey to U.S. citizenship is evident in the emotion and depth of her playing. You can witness her artistry as The Senior Men’s Club of The Community House in Birmingham (380 South Bates St.) presents Ms. Arsenijevic in concert on May 14th at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30pm). All proceeds from the concert will benefit The Community House and The Senior Men’s Cub Legacy Endowment Fund.
The program will include Marina’s own stirring arrangements of “Rhapsody in Blue” and “America the Beautiful” in addition to popular classical tunes and Marina’s dramatic original compositions in a unique multi-media presentation. Tickets are per person. Reservations can be made by contacting Bill Johnson of the Senior Men’s Club, (248) 646-5538 , Tickets can also be purchased at the front desk of The Community House.
Born in Yugoslavia, Marina Arsenijevic has a superstar reputation in Eastern and Central Europe. Her harrowing journey U.S. citizenship in 2009 was made possible by her sponsor and longtime Senior Men’s Club member (now deceased), Colonel Jack McCuen.
Marina became enamored with the piano at the age of 4 and was only 9 years old when she made her debut solo concert in front of an audience of 2000, performing compositions by Chopin, Beethoven and Brahms. She studied with some of the world’s great piano masters from Yugoslavia, Austria, Italy, Germany and Russia.
The disintegration of Yugoslavia into conflict among its diverse ethnic groups greatly affected Marina’s outlook on life and her music. As the conflicts in Yugoslavia expanded into all out war, Marina witnessed the suffering of ethnic strife firsthand. During the height of the civil wars and ignoring extensive political pressures, Marina challenged the hatred and violence by taking an apprehensive Serbian National Orchestra to Kosovo’s largest music hall to play both Muslim and Christian music to an appreciative standing room audience of Muslims and Christians without a single incidence of violence.
Soon after, Marina was warned to leave the country immediately for her own safety. Avoiding the secret police that were searching for her, she was guided to the US Embassy in Budapest where, by special bipartisan Congressional arrangement, she was able to enter the United States.
Since then, Marina has performed to enthusiastic audiences and standing ovations at major venues such as the Chicago Symphony Center, Toronto Center for the Arts, and she has made two separate sold-out appearances at Carnegie Hall. Marina’s Emmy nominated Public Television program “Marina at West Point: Unity Through Diversity” has been broadcast to more than 160 Million viewers with over 350 airings by PBS Stations all across the country.
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