Performer Bios

Marla Rathbun

Marla Rathbun is on sabbatical from her private violin and ensemble coaching studio during a 2 year posting in Rio de Janeiro while her scientist husband works in a research lab.  There she is performing with Bachiana Brasileira, was co-concertmaster of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the famous Theatro Municipal, and is pursuing chamber and recital work.  In the US she performs with her piano partner, Maria Rivera, in the Rathbun/Rivera Duo as well as various other small chamber ensembles, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Kairos - a Bach Cantata series at Holy Cross Monastery, and Eleva Chamber Players. She freelances in the greater New York area.  Last summer she joined the violin faculty of Interlochen Arts Camp after 20+ years on the Ithaca Chamber Music Institute Faculty.  For many years she was violinist in the Aurora Quintet, led the Taghkanic String Quartet and was principal second violinist with the Connecticut Grand Opera Orchestra. 

Rathbun received her B.M.E. from Capital University then worked as principal second violinist with the Savannah Symphony and Savannah String Quartet and taught at Savannah State College. While earning her M.M. in violin performance at Southern Illinois University, she was assistant concertmaster of the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Quito, Ecuador, she played in and directed a small chamber orchestra, performed with a string quartet as first violinist, and was concertmaster of Quito National Symphony. She is a former student of Raphael Bronstein and Ariana Bronne. She has directed the Suzuki program at Dutchess Community College and coordinated the music program at Poughkeepsie Day School. 

Normally a Poughkeepsie resident, in Brazil she and her husband can pursue their passion for trekking to out-of-the way places seeking beautiful and interesting birds.


Maria Rivera

MARIA RIVERA WHITE began her study of piano at the age of five. A precocious winner of numerous competitions, she gave her first solo performance with orchestra by the age of thirteen. After studying four years in Italy with Nunzio Zappulla of the Naples Conservatory of Music, she attended the Eastman School of Music, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree, studying with Barbara Lister-Sink and Blanca Uribe. She subsequently earned her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School.

In addition to offering private studio instruction since 1995, Maria was adjunct instructor of piano at Vassar College for eight years. While there she performed on the College’s annual Modfest, and performed the world premiere of Vassar composer Suzanne Sorkin's solo piano piece Falling through Crimson and Lead at Merkin Hall in New York City, later recording the piece as well.

Praised for her impressive technique, great clarity, and expressiveness, and her excellent rapport in collaboration, Maria has performed in such venues as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway and Alice Tully Halls, and the Kyoto International Music Festival. She continues to teach and to perform throughout the United States both as a solo artist and in ensemble with other musicians, including her sister Natalia (as the Rivera Piano Duo) and the operatic duo of Nina and Stefano Tanchietti.

Upcoming performances include a concert with the Tanchiettis in North Carolina in November, and a recital of all three Brahms Sonatas with violinist Robert Brink in December.

Contact Us

Rathbun-Rivera Duo
104 Bedell Rd.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
845 473-6278
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