Nathan Avakian, from Portland, Ore., is the 2009 overall winner of the ATOS Young Theatre Organist Competition. His fascination with the theatre organ began at age 4 with a visit to the Portland Organ Grinder restaurant. He began formal organ studies with Donna Parker at age 11 and has been frequently coached by Jonas Nordwall.
As a concert artist, Nathan performs internationally for various organizations and organ preservation societies. Scholarships from ATOS, Columbia River Theatre Organ Society, and Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society have helped fund his lessons and trips to organ workshops in Colorado, Illinois, and Arizona. In 2010, Nathan was commissioned to compose five original theatre organ soundtracks for the Youth Silent Film Festival, a Portland Rose Festival event that gives young filmmakers the opportunity to create contemporary silent films to theatre organ music. Nathan is the current ATOS Youth Representative to the Board.
In addition to his experience as an organist, Nathan is a skilled theatre technician and musical theatre performer. A recent high school graduate of Beaverton’s Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA), he is pursuing a B.F.A. degree in theatrical lighting design from the State University of New York at Purchase. In addition to performance and technical theatre experience with organizations including Oregon Children’s Theatre, Krayon Kids Musical Theatre Company, Canby Community Theatre and ACMA, Nathan completed 12 years of dance training and performance with Westside Dance Academy in various styles including tap, jazz and ballet.
As a musician, Nathan’s mission is to showcase the versatility of the theatre organ by playing music from a wide variety of eras and styles. Nathan hopes to promote interest in the theatre organ among people of all ages to ensure that the instrument is preserved and kept alive for future generations.
P.O. Box 2037
Beaverton, OR 97075
Phone: (503) 347-0278
E-Mail: nathanavakian [at] comcast.net
ATOS Artists' pages are provided as a courtesy to the artist and do not imply an endorsement by the American Theatre Organ Society