PPI
Portland Piano International Buy Tickets
Home Recital Series Summer Festival Support Portland Piano Education About Portland Piano Contact Pianophile Links Archives
History

PORTLAND PIANO INTERNATIONAL IS DEDICATED TO PRESENTING THE FINEST PIANISTS IN THE WORLD IN RECITAL SETTINGS AND OUTREACH ACTIVITIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENRICHING AND EDUCATING OUR COMMUNITY.

The idea for Portland Piano International was conceived and launched by pianist Harold Gray, who had arrived at Portland State University in 1977 as a member of The Florestan Trio, the university’s ensemble-in-residence. With the help of business manager Nina Lowry (through 1991), he started a series at PSU devoted to the piano recital that quickly grew from four, to five, to six recitals each season. Across the country other recital series were closing their doors, but before long the PSU Piano Recital Series was selling out regularly and audiences were clamoring for more.

By 1995, Saturday night recitals had been added to the sold-out Sunday recitals. Pat Zagelow was Executive Director from 1991 through 2009, assisted by Lori Fitch as Operations Manager, from 1995. An Advisory Board of ten people was formed in 1995 to assist in fund-raising efforts and to provide guidance to the Series. In 1999 an annual summer festival was added to present even more recitals, along with a diverse array of master classes, lectures, and films. In 2005 an independent non-profit organization was formed under the name Portland Piano International to carry on the fine tradition established by the Piano Recital Series, but separate from Portland State University. Widney Moore was Executive Director from April through July, 2009. Patricia Price is the new Executive Director.

 

In the past, this Series has presented over one-hundred-fifty artists in recitals and outreach activities. Some of the greatest artists in the world of music — Emanuel Ax, John Browning, Shura Cherkassky, Bella Davidovich, Misha Dichter, Vladimir Feltsman, Peter Frankl, Richard Goode, Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Peter Serkin, Andras Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida — have played for Portland audiences because of this organization. While pianists have many opportunities to play the concerto repertoire, this is one of only a handful of recital series that remains devoted to the solo piano recital, and invitations to appear on the series are highly prized. Lorin Hollander spoke for many people when he said, “It is wonderful to have such a treasure as the Piano Recital Series!”

Over the years the series has developed into a nationally recognized program, and is highly respected for its high artistic quality and sound management. Recordings of concerts are heard regularly on American Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” and an article about the success of the series was published in the May 1998 issue of the national publication, Piano & Keyboard Magazine. Portland Piano International is a vital part of Portland’s quality cultural life, and has consistently garnered praise from both the local and national media, calling it “one of Portland’s most valued cultural happenings” (Piano and Keyboard Magazine), “the consistently brilliant Piano Recital Series” (Willamette Week), and “one of this city’s musical treasures” (The Oregonian).

 


Regional Arts and Culture CouncilOregon Arts CommissionPSU- Music DepartmentNational Endowment for The ArtsWork for Art