|R&R Concerts, on Roosevelt Island in New York City, presents performances of classical and other genres of music by accomplished musicians from the United States and abroad. With no admission fee and complemented by outreach performances for members of the community with limited mobility, our programs aim to reach a broad audience. Now in our tenth season, and a vital part of Roosevelt Island's cultural life, the Series continues to expand with the generosity of organizations and concert-goers.
The late Rosemarie and Robin Russell together organized numerous concerts and events on Roosevelt Island in New York City; they wanted to encourage music education and appreciation. In the spring we looked forward to Irish music and dancing. In summer we enjoyed jazz on Meditation Steps. Rosemarie and Robin brought world-class artists such as the guitarist Elliot Fisk, the Guarneri Quartet, and Ruth Laredo. Robin spoke about organizing a concert series that would bring music to Roosevelt Island on a regular basis.
After Rosemarie passed away, Robin continued their mission on Roosevelt Island and founded the Island Arts Music School. He established programs with the new Roosevelt Island communities at Riverwalk and Octagon. He had just started Musikids, a music and dance experience class for toddlers. Music was the catalyst and the reward. Robin was the director, secretary, accountant and one of the teachers at the school. Robin died unexpectedly in February, 2007, leaving our community at a tremendous loss.
Staff and students of Island Arts Music School rallied together that year to hold three events: a concert in Robin’s memory, a final student recital dedicated to Robin and a holiday event presented as a gift from the musicians to the community. The audiences responded warmly with appreciation, enthusiasm, and support in remembrance of what the Russell family brought to Roosevelt Island.
In 2008, we established The Rosemarie and Robin Russell Family Concert Series with two spring and two fall concerts. As one of four founders, Marianne Lau organized the Series and secured initial funding with grants from City and State agencies.
R&R Concerts Inc. was incorporated in 2009 as a nonprofit in New York State and was recognized by the IRS in 2010 as a 501(c)(3) public charity.
In addition to the public concerts, Public Outreach Performances are held around the time of each concert. These informal events at community centers on the Island, including Coler Campus (and, prior to its demolition, Goldwater Campus) of Coler-Goldwater Hospital, are designed to provide residents the opportunity to learn about the music, to talk with the musicians and to hear excerpts from the concert program beforehand. R&R Concerts brings the joy of world-class musical performance to people who might not otherwise be able to be a part of it.
Inspired by the memory of Rosemarie and Robin Russell, R&R Concerts strives to increase the public’s exposure to and appreciation for classical and other genres of music and to foster community cohesiveness through the presentation of concerts, free of charge, by accomplished musicians from the United States and abroad.
R&R Concerts Inc.
Board of Directors
Ralph Allen Treasurer
Marc Diamond Chair
Benjamin Hochman Secretary
Iris Jortner Executive and Artistic Director