November 16, 2022

Sharing a passion born at Andover

Book highlights alumna's love of music
by Nancy Hitchcock

When still a toddler, Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch “Ari” ’04 declared she was going to play the violin. That steadfast determination to play and perform continued through high school and earned Warsaw-Fan Rauch bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard. She has performed at iconic venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, and the Berliner Philharmonie. She also published an album with cellist Meta Weiss ’05. And now, with her new book on classical music, Warsaw-Fan Rauch hopes to win over even the most stubborn skeptics.

“When I was a kid, I thought classical music was the most magical music,” she enthuses. “I didn’t realize it was niche music because it was around me all the time.”

In Declassified: A Low-Key Guide to the High-Strung World of Classical Music, the author aims to demystify classical music so that everyone can enjoy a performance, choose music for a wedding, or find pieces that speak to them. “Readers should come away feeling well versed and really comfortable with classical music,” she says.

Throughout the book—which is part memoir, part playful guidebook—Warsaw-Fan Rauch describes how Andover created an important foundation for her love of music.

Growing up on campus, Warsaw-Fan Rauch found herself simultaneously surrounded—and deeply fascinated—by music. Her father, Dr. Peter Warsaw, held many positions at Andover, including music department chair and orchestra conductor. One of her favorite classes, Words and Music, was taught by her father and mother, English instructor Dr. Ada Fan. And conductor William Thomas was an important mentor. But it was at age 7 that Warsaw-Fan Rauch had a pivotal musical experience: she was mesmerized by violinist Rex Chao ’94’s senior concert.

“It was the first time a concert was transporting for me,” she says. She and Chao developed a close bond over music; however, sadly, two years into college Chao died tragically, which left Warsaw-Fan Rauch feeling that she needed to continue playing her violin for the two of them.

The new author says she writes to invite readers to join her passion for music.

Photo by Lorene Theodora Photography

Categories: Alumni, Magazine, Magazine Online

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