The Toronto Theatre Organ Society

Nathan Avakian Nathan Avakian

Nathan Avakian is a multi-talented artist with specialised interests and experience in organ performance, musical arrangement and composition and lighting design.

His fascination with the theatre organ began at age four with a visit to the Portland Organ Grinder restaurant. He began organ studies with Donna Parker at age eleven and has also been frequently coached by Jonas Nordwall. Since winning the American Theatre Organ Society Young Theatre Organist Competition in 2009, Nathan has provided theatre organ entertainment across the United States and internationally. In 2011 he completed a six week concert tour of Australia and New Zealand. That same year he released his first album, “Outside the Box”, featuring both theatre and classical pipe organs as well as virtual orchestrations to supplement the organ.

Nathan is renowned for his tasteful blending of 21st-century virtual instrument technology with theatre organ music. He arranges and produces digital orchestration tracks to supplement the pipe organ, creating performances that satisfy contemporary musical tastes and pay tribute to the historical legacy of the theatre organ. Nathan frequently includes original organ and solo piano compositions in his performances. In 2010, he was commissioned to compose six original theatre organ soundtracks for the International Youth Silent Film Festival, a program that gives young filmmakers the opportunity to create contemporary silent films to theatre organ music. He helped pioneer the Festival's expansion which now includes regional Festivals in Oregon and Ohio in the US and Adelaide and Melbourne in Australia.

Nathan served as the Youth Representative on the ATOS Board of Directors from 2011 to 2013 voicing the perspective of today's younger generations and managing programs that recognise and support the work of young organ students.

In addition to performance and technical theatre experience with organisations including Oregon Children's Theatre, Krayon Kids Musical Theatre Company, Canby Community Theatre and the Purchase Repertory Theatre, Nathan completed twelve years of dance training and performance with Westside Dance Academy in various styles including tap, jazz and ballet. He is currently pursuing a B.F.A. in lighting design from Purchase College, State University of New York.

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