The Oregonian, Oct, 2017

Portland violinist pays tribute to a tango composer and fellow Argentinian Violinist Tomas Cotik may never become a tango dancer, but he can get you to feel like one when you listen to his latest album. It's a tribute to the music of the great Argentinian tango composer Astor Piazzolla on the 25th anniversary of his death. Titled 'Legacy' and released on the Naxos label, Cotik's new recording explores several of Piazzolla's most popular pieces as well as a few obscure ones...Maybe some of the secret sauce that Cotik pours into his playing has to do with being born in Buenos Aires. The 40-year-old violinist can channel the street scenes of his boyhood and stir up intangible elements...So far, Cotik has been involved in 14 CDs, some of which feature him as the violin soloist. But recordings tell only part of Cotik's musical journey. He has been busy since he arrived in Portland a little over a year ago as the assistant professor of violin at Portland State University. In addition to his work on campus, he has visited local high school music programs and youth orchestras...'I love what I do,' said Cotik. 'I often work until midnight. Even when I'm on vacation, I have to find time to work on my projects, like the article on violin technique that I'm finishing for The Strad magazine'...'I feel very lucky to be in Portland and to have fulfilled my dreams, teaching and recording and performing,' he said. 'I want to help students get closer to their dreams.' Shion Yamakawa, concertmaster of the Portland State University Symphony and recipient of the David E. Wedge Music Scholarship for music majors, feels Cotik's guidance has been beneficial. 'I like studying with Dr. Cotik because he inspires me,' said Yamakawa. 'He has very high expectations and his work ethic is extraordinary. Dr. Cotik has helped me to truly listen to my own sound, and he has taught me that you can be the best teacher of yourself. He taught me to become more independent as a musician in terms of self-learning, time management and preparations. Dr. Cotik has helped me immensely on technical aspects as well, and my body is more relaxed now when I practice or perform.' James Bash Read More