December 14, 2017

Photo: John Pitman

I started working at All Classical Portland in 1983; 2013 marks 30 years at the radio station. I haven’t always been Music Director; that post I’ve held since 2006. But prior to that, I’ve been an on-air announcer both part-and-fulltime, and practically from the beginning, I’ve managed the vast classical library. In 1983 that was exclusively on LP, but gradually, the library transformed into an all-CD collection, and I’ve listened to nearly every one of the 25,000 CDs on our shelves. Now, as music director, I work with the programming team and our producers to carefully craft each hour of music almost every day. This is a big job, to be sure, previewing all the available pieces of music and adding new pieces and performances to the library. 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.

Though serving principally as music director at All Classical Portland, John also hosts overnights on Saturdays and Sundays, and fills in as on-air host during the week as needed.

Latest blog entries from John Pitman:

Avital Meets Avital

Avi Avital is an Israeli mandolinist, and Deutsche Grammophon artist, who is most accustomed to playing classical works such as those of Vivaldi (in 2015, I interviewed Mr. Avital about his Vivaldi in Venice CD, which can still be heard on the Music Blog page).  With this latest release, Mr. Avital branches out, but also… More

Holiday Programming Details

All Classical Portland continues to bring a richness to the season with special holiday programming features. Throughout the month of December, the hosts of All Classical Portland weave together a calming and uplifting Tapestry of Holiday Sounds which gracefully reflects the sense of joy and peace associated with this special time of year. Tune in anytime to share… More

Fantasia (violinist Anne Akiko Meyers)

American violinist Anne Akiko Meyers has long loved the works of Finnish composer, Einojuhani Rautavaara.  For years, Meyers dreamed of commissioning a work from him for her instrument.  In 2014, she reached out to the composer, who responded almost immediately and set to work.  What Meyers soon received was a beautiful, haunting, and evocative work… More

Tomás Cotik: Piazzolla Legacy

Violinist Tomás Cotik (toh-MAHSS ko-TEEK), Assistant Professor of Violin at Portland State University, was born in Argentina.  But that doesn’t mean that he grew up loving the tango.  It took living in another country – Germany, to be exact – to develop that love for his home country’s signature musical style.  Mr. Cotik chats with… More

TROIKA: Cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley

Cellist Matt Haimovitz has never been content to just “be quiet and play the music”. That statement, often fired at musicians when they express their opinions, has been heard with greater frequency in recent years. One could argue that a musician is paid to play; but it can also be argued that music as an… More

Alma Espanola: Isabel Leonard and Sharon Isbin

This is a special recording on a number of fronts.  In the first place, it’s the premiere by these two artists, both of them winners of multiple Grammy awards, recording together after collaborating for several years in concert.  Second, this is the first recording in about 40 years devoted exclusively to Spanish songs for voice… More

Composer Jack Gallagher

American composer Jack Gallagher (born in Brooklyn in 1947), is a Grammy®-winning composer of works for a variety of instruments, including several orchestral works.  Some are of a large scale, such as his Symphony No. 2, ‘Ascendant’, while others, such as his Berceuse (lullaby) are diminutive but make as much of an impression.  Part of… More

Bel Canto Paganini: Rachel Barton Pine takes on the Caprices

Nicolo Paganini dazzled audiences in his time with his unprecedented virtuosity, made women swoon (and men envious), and helped to create the myth that he must have sold his soul for such abilities.  In truth, Paganini was a gifted creator of original melodies, as well as variations on opera arias and popular tunes of his… More

Simone Dinnerstein takes Mozart to Havana

American pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who first received critical acclaim for her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, has made collaboration a major part of her career since that first, solo recording. She has created recordings that bridge the worlds of classical music, jazz and folk. Her longtime collaborator and arranger, composer Philip Lasser, has been with… More

Emerson Quartet bridges the centuries (Music of Britten and Purcell)

The members of the Emerson String Quartet are keeping plenty busy, both onstage and in the studio. They’re touring, too: the four members of the Grammy® – winning chamber ensemble were in Portland recently (presented by Chamber Music NW), and will return in July. It’s all part of a well-deserved celebration of the group’s 40th… More