Marcus Ratzenboeck

Marcus Ratzenboeck

 Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Marcus Ratzenboeck, served as a professor of violin at the University of Louisville, 2000-2008. Performed with Louisville Bach Society, was Principal Second Violinist for the Louisville Orchestra. Ratzenboeck plays violin for the Louisville Orchestra, Florida Orchestra and Sarasota Orchestra.....


Marcus Ratzenboeck, 36, first picked up the violin around the age of nine and the instrument has found a familiar place on his shoulder ever since, helping him earn both a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and a master's degree in violin performance from Indiana University Jacob School of Music.
Raised in Sarasota, the prolific musician spent the last eight years in Louisville, Ky., working as an adjunct professor of violin at the University of Louisville, Concertmaster of the Louisville Bach Society, and Principal Second Violin of the Louisville Orchestra from 2000 - 2008
Over the last few years, however, Ratzenboeck has been moving in a new direction, quickly garnering the title of "rocker."
When Ratzenboeck first moved to Louisville a little more than 11 years ago, he became friends with singer Hugo Ferreira.
"A lot of the professional musicians in Louisville do session work for bands," Ratzenboeck said. "I did a recording with a band called Days of the New that made it onto their 'Red' album."
That band evolved into Tantric, acquiring Ferreira as the lead singer. Ratzenboeck continued to immerse himself in the classical and orchestral circuit, wearing many hats, while Ferreira enjoyed two successful albums with Tantric.
In 2005 Ratzenboeck recorded a session with the band for a third album. But the album was never released. The band's record label, Maverick Records, folded, and the members went their separate ways.
Ratzenboeck's love for music, however, inspired him to start writing several songs, creating a side project of sorts.
That project wound up evolving into the current Tantric.
"We worked real hard over the course of a year and a half and acquired other musician friends," Ratzenboeck said. "There was still Hugo and the same flavor of sound, so we retained the name Tantric."
With its new lineup, with Ratzenboeck adding a fresh twist to the standard rock ensemble, Tantric recorded its third album, "The End Begins,"
The album came out in April and has been enjoying great success thanks to the first single, "Down and Out."
"I was anxious to see how the first single would do, having an electric violin in a rock song," Ratzenboeck said. "The reception has been incredible and the audiences are really into the violin.
"I never thought I'd start a mosh pit with a violin," he added with a laugh.
The band has a fan in Evan Longoria, third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays, who uses "Down and Out," as his at-bat music.
Though Ratzenboeck now has mainstream exposure and has been touring since March 2008, the Florida native still comes back to Sarasota every chance he gets.
"Every time I have a break, I come back to Sarasota," Ratzenboeck said. "It's like I never really left."
The constant touring may be rough, but Ratzenboeck finds it rewarding when he meets people who have turned to Tantric's music to get through tough times or gets to perform for special causes like USO shows or Jerry's Kids.
"It is definitely rewarding and more so because we wrote everything ourselves," Ratzenboeck said. "With the classical thing, I got the opportunity to tour.
"But this is just different, for instance, answering fans on MySpace and hearing our song on the radio in whatever city I am."

"It's definitely original," Ratzenboeck said about the band's sound. "It has a lot of melodic elements and counterpoints going on that a lot of rock doesn't have. It's more advanced musically, but it's still rock-n-roll. It's not rocket science here."
While washing his clothes in a hotel laundry on his one day off this week after seven straight days of rocking his Tantricness, Ratzenboeck delighted in riffing on the differences between staid orchestra events and the rollicking wildness of rock.
"In the orchestra, I sit down. In the rock shows, I stand up. There are usually a lot more drunk people at the rock shows. The timpani player in the orchestra doesn't usually stand up after the show, strip off his shirt, wring it out and say, "Take that, (expletive)!" Ratzenboeck said. "You don't have a bunch of 80-year-old millionaires at the front row (at Tantric shows) and tickets are $30 instead of $80."
Ratzenboeck said the "things" fans ask him to sign after a sweaty Tantric show are a bit different than the requests he gets after a classical performance.
Despite what some academics in the music world might consider to be a lowering of his standards for the rock-n-roll lifestyle, Ratzenboeck said most of his peers are stoked for him.
"There was a small opportunity to do what I'm doing," he said. "It's a lot of fun. I'm taking a lot of chances, but it's working out pretty well. It's different from what most people are doing, but my colleagues seem to respect it."


The End Begins
Mind Control