Photo: John Pitman

I started working at All Classical Portland in 1983, just a few months after graduation from Benson Polytechnic, and the same year that 89.9 FM began broadcasting. Much has changed since that first summer that Portland gained a new classical music station! In fact, we didn’t call it “All Classical Portland”. 89.9 FM was owned by the school district, and the call letters were KBPS (“BPS” for its location: Benson Polytechnic High School). Moving up from weekends to weekdays, part-time to full-time, and from a music librarian to Music Director (2006), I’ve been witness to tremendous growth in the organization, and seen the facilities move twice: In 1992, from a classroom to a stand-alone building at Benson, and 2014 to our beautiful, current location on the Willamette.

As music director, I work with the programming team and our producers to carefully craft each hour of music almost every day. It’s a job I love doing. When I’m not programming, I’m interviewing musicians from around the world to add to All Classical Portland’s online offering of reviews, spotlights and insights. As of January 2018, I’m back on weekends, hosting throughout the afternoon, and evenings with The Concert Hall, a series that draws from that library of 25,000 CDs of fantastic recordings. It’s my pleasure, and privilege, to share this great music with you.

Contact John Pitman

Latest blog entries from John Pitman:

John Pitman Review: Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, at 25, has already made a strong impression in the world of Baroque opera and beyond, with his powerful yet supple voice. The American countertenor, who has made several recordings (including contemporary music, such as by Kenneth Fuchs), specializes in 18th-century music when the male singer known as the Castrato reigned supreme…. More


John Pitman Review: Is A Rose, Anne Sofie Von Otter and Caroline Shaw

Host John Pitman chats with the great Swedish mezzo-soprano, Anne Sofie Von Otter about her performance of a new work by American composer, Caroline Shaw.  Title “Is a Rose”, the three-movement song cycle is sung by Von Otter with San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, as Shaw has written the work with Baroque ensembles – and… More


John Pitman Review: Violins of Hope, Niv Ashkenazi

Violinist Niv Ashkenazi plays one of a handful of restored violins that survived the Holocaust, and his debut recording, “Violins of Hope” (Albany Records) is a document of the perseverance of the instruments’ original owners. Mr. Ashkenazi, along with pianist and fellow Juillard student, pianist Matthew Graybil, breathe life into music that, in some cases,… More


John Pitman Review: Donald Nally talks about Anonymous Man

Donald Nally is the artistic director of one of this country’s most adventurous and creative choirs, The Crossing. John Pitman talks to the conductor about Michael Gordon’s Anonymous Man, a 65-minute choral work in 7 movements, which is a memoir of Gordon’s life with his family on Desbrosses Street in lower Manhattan in the 1980s…. More


John Pitman Review: Benjamin Grosvenor, Chopin Piano Concertos

British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor grew up with Chopin.  He shares with John Pitman that “my first love at the piano…was Chopin.”  In his newest recording for Decca, Mr. Grosvenor explores Chopin’s piano concertos, one of which includes a sort of musical love note by the young composer to a singer that he admired. In the… More


John Pitman Review: Miró Quartet complete their Beethoven cycle

The Miró Quartet, who visited Portland in February hosted by Chamber Music NW, is celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with the release of the complete string quartets.  They began around 2005 with the Opus 18 (Beethoven’s first published set), recording them at the same age the composer was when he wrote them, in other… More


John Pitman Review: Jonathan Biss completes Beethoven journey

As a part of the celebrations this year of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig Van Beethoven, program director John Pitman is interviewing some of today’s top artists involved in the newest recordings of his music. American pianist Jonathan Biss has just completed a 9-year journey exploring the piano sonatas of Ludwig Van Beethoven…. More


John Pitman Review: Silenced Voices

String Trio debuts with “Silenced Voices” (Black Oak Ensemble) 2020 (specifically, January 27) marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the WWII concentration camp that is symbolic of the persecution and murder of millions of Jews and other groups by the Nazi regime.  In addition to the handful of people who survived the… More


John Pitman Review: Sound of Silence, Miloš returns

The Montenegro-born guitarist Miloš has just released his fifth album, and the first in about 3 years. Sound of Silence (Decca) is, in a way, autobiographical: in 2016, just after the release of his Beatles-inspired disc, Blackbird, Miloš began experiencing a tightness in his hand that affected his ability to play. He eventually stepped away… More


John Pitman Review: Violinist Margaret Batjer and the LA Philharmonic

Violinist Margaret Batjer has been associated with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for a number of years. In their first CD for the Swedish BIS label, Batjer and the LACO begin with a new violin concerto by Quebec-born composer, Pierre Jalbert. With movements titled “Soulful, mysterious”, and “With great energy”, Jalbert’s concerto is in good… More


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