06/23/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011


The week of violinist Charlie Siem's Carnegie Hall performance, Music Unites will host a ticketed benefit concert with the British virtuoso at SPiN NYC's Fred Perry Room as part of the charity's Classical Music Showcase Series.

Music Unites Classical Music Showcase Series artists have included some of the industry's most talented musicians. From a U.N. concert with Lang Lang to a private performance with Joshua Bell at his residence, the series is dedicated to celebrating, supporting and promoting classical music in a modern setting to appeal to a broader audience and complements Music Unites' larger mission of supporting emerging and established artists as well as funding music education programs in underserved communities.

Siem began playing violin after hearing it on his mother's car radio at the age of three and is a rising star in the classical world, now, two decades later.

"He is just the kind of talent that Music Unites seeks to bring to students in order to expose them to a variety of genres," said Michelle Edgar, Founder & Executive Director of Music Unites. "Charlie represents what is cool and youthful about classical music and understands how to translate it for a younger crowd."

As a musician, Charlie understands the importance of exposure to music at a young age.

"Just give people a shot at hearing it," remarked Siem. "They usually don't get to see it in a fun way so it's just not on their radar. If they hear the music, they'll be convinced."

His natural talent and love for the violin developed at Eton College and Girton College. He learned how to read music at Cambridge. He later studied at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal College of Music under Itzak Rashkovsky and Schlomo Minz.

Some of Charlie's favorite classical composers include Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart, but he also listens to electronic and hip hop. Listening to a variety of music across all genres is key to Charlie since it is a source of inspiration.

Classically trained at some of the top schools, he has appeared at renowned festivals throughout the world including the Windsor, Spoleto, St Moritz and Gstaad and has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Israel Camerata, Bergen Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Vilnius and Petros Sinfonica Brazil.

His tour in the UK with the Moscow Philharmonic in October 2008 playing Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto put him on the map and his debut CD won international praise. Currently, Siem is working on a new album scheduled to be released in 2011.

Being a young star in a world usually reserved for those beyond his years has given Charlie a unique perspective and allowed him a deep understanding of the value of music for everyone, especially in today's fast paced, download-driven culture.

"Everything has become so transient and momentary. It becomes meaningless and surface, and superficial. More people are looking for things they have to work at to appreciate. You have to really get to know classical and what you get out of it is so much more. More people realize that now that we are in a light phase of popular culture, they can find more value in showmanship."

Come and experience Charlie next at SPiN NYC on Thursday, April 29th. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at All proceeds will benefit Music Unites' mission of bringing music education into inner city schools.

By Mara Siegler