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.


Latest blog entries from John Pitman:

John Pitman Review: James Newton Howard’s ‘Night After Night’

For this edition of John Pitman’s Reviews, John has invited All Classical Radio’s host of our syndicated film music program, The Score, to review a beautiful new recording reimagining original film scores. Night After Night celebrates one of the richest collaborations between a contemporary film director and a composer – an all-new recording of music… More


John Pitman Review: Randall Goosby ‘Violin Concertos’

All Classical Radio’s program director, John Pitman, chats with American violinist Randall Goosby about his second album with Decca Classics. The dynamic young soloist brings freshness to a concerto he first encountered as a teenager: Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, and shimmering performances of Florence Price’s two Violin Concertos, with the Philadelphia Orchestra and… More


John Pitman Review: Plínio Fernandes’s ‘Bacheando’

Plínio Fernandes is a London-based Brazilian guitarist who has just released his second album. Bacheando explores the long-established influence of Bach’s music on Brazilian composers. Chief among them is Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), whose series titled Bachianas Brazileiras fuse the Baroque-age forms of Bach with the rhythm and styles of Brazilian music.  He recently spoke to All… More


John Pitman Review: Carlos Simon’s ‘Together’

Composer Carlos Simon has received numerous awards and nominations for works such as 2021’s Requiem for the Enslaved. He recently spoke to All Classical Radio host John Pitman about his latest album Together, a 10-track project that came about from the desire to simply make music with friends and colleagues, after the long period of… More


John Pitman Review: Andrew Brownell’s ‘Shades of Night’

Andrew Brownell is a pianist and former Portlander who, in the mid-1990s would occasionally stop by the All Classical studios for an interview with John Pitman. Often, Andrew would play something on the piano, or accompany violinist Nicholas Crosa (now part of Pink Martini), for an upcoming recital. Brownell recently stopped by for a chat… More


John Pitman Review: Eric Whitacre & Voces8 ‘Home’

All Classical Portland’s Program Director John Pitman recently spoke with American choral composer Eric Whitacre, who has a career now spanning over three decades, is one of the world’s most popular composers among audiences and choirs alike. Several of his works have been recorded multiple times, but even then, the composer sees opportunities when one special… More


John Pitman Review: Benjamin Grosvenor Schumann & Brahms

All Classical Portland’s Program Director John Pitman recently spoke with British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, whose new recording touches on the relationships of Johannes Brahms and Robert and Clara Schumann. Grosvenor chose works that link together Brahms as a young man meeting Robert and his wife, pianist and composer, Clara Wieck Schumann, and Brahms later in… More


John Pitman Review: Mao Fujita Takes On Mozart

Pianist Mao Fujita was born in Japan and now lives in Europe, where he is studying with Kirill Gerstein. Mao was invited to the renowned Verbier Festival in Switzerland a couple of years ago, on the strength of having a number of Mozart’s piano sonatas in his fingers. The Festival asked Mao if he could get… More


John Pitman Review: Eldbjørg Hemsing’s ‘Arctic’

Arctic is a new release by Norwegian violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing that asks questions, through music, about the effects of climate change on the Arctic region, and on the life that exists there. Ms. Hemsing, who grew up near the Arctic Circle, says “the Arctic is often misrepresented as stark and uninhabitable wasteland.” Yet Hemsing explains… More


John Pitman Review: Leif Ove Andsnes’s ‘Poetic Tone Pictures’

All Classical Portland’s Program Director John Pitman has long admired the artistry of Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, having featured his recordings regularly over the past 30-plus years. His newest release is especially exciting because it includes rare recordings of the complete Poetic Tone Pictures by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. In his latest interview with John, Mr…. More


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