John Pitman’s CD Reviews blog spotlights recent recordings of classical music. As the music director, John auditions dozens of new releases every month, focusing on titles that stand out in terms of performance, repertoire or recording quality.

Picture of Seong Jin cho leaning on a piano

November 19, 2021

John Pitman Review: Berlin-based Seong-Jin Cho Returns to Chopin

John Pitman, All Classical Portland’s Director of Music and Programming, interviews pianist Seong-Jin Cho about the sixth and latest album. Returning to the music of Frédéric Chopin with Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2, Cho’s CD was recorded in April of 2021, in Hamburg and London. Seong-Jin shares with John the process, and the special challenges,... More

cd cover for Carte Blanche

November 4, 2021

John Pitman Review: Record label gives Jean-Yves Thibaudet “Carte Blanche”

To mark a milestone birthday and celebrate a new chapter in his relationship with the label, French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet was given “carte blanche” by the Decca classical label to choose personal music that he has never recorded before—a selection that reflects on the people and pieces that have impacted his life as an artist... More

cd cover for Tate Lowak Shoppala

October 8, 2021

John Pitman Review: “Fire and Light” by Chickasaw composer, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate

John’s guest is Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ (Im-pih-CHAH-chah-ha) Tate, whose 2009 composition, Lowak Shoppala’ (LO-wak SHO-pah-la), an epic retelling of Chickasaw stories, received its world premiere recording this year. Jerod shares his own stories of growing up in a household of Western classical music, and strong ties to his indigenous roots as well. Buy “Fire and Light”... More

Randall Goosby Roots cd cover. A man sits on a couch holding his violin.

September 27, 2021

John Pitman Review: Roots: Debut recording by violinist Randall Goosby

John interviews Randall Goosby, whose debut on the Decca label, “Roots,” was released this summer (and is being played on All Classical Portland regularly). The disc is an exploration of music written by Black composers and of composers inspired by Black American culture. Randall tells John Pitman about the importance and responsibility of bringing underrepresented... More

lost Freedom with Kenji Bunch and George Takei

August 20, 2021

John Pitman Review: Kenji Bunch debuts “Lost Freedom” with George Takei

John Pitman, director of Music and Programming at All Classical Portland interviews Portland composer Kenji Bunch about an important world premiere happening a few states away, at the Moab Music Festival in Utah, on September 4. Inspired by the autobiographical accounts of the incarceration of United States citizens – Japanese-Americans, in World War II –... More

the singing guitar

July 8, 2021

John Pitman Review: Conspirare’s The Singing Guitar

The Austin, Texas-based choir, Conspirare, give voice to poets and writers from across the spectrum of nationality and gender in their latest recording, The Singing Guitar. Founder and director, Craig Hella Johnson, commissioned new works from composers such as Reena Esmail, Nico Muhly, and Kile Smith that highlight the words of the Sufi poet Hafiz,... More

June 25, 2021

Dialogo: Debut by cellist John-Henry Crawford

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, cellist John-Henry Crawford has already made strides in the field of classical music, in one case as First Prize winner of the 2019 International Carlos Prieto Competition; and more recently with this debut release, Dialogo. Crawford chose the title after the unaccompanied cello work by Hungarian composer, György Ligeti. In it,... More

man playing the guitar with a forest in the background

June 8, 2021

Balkan Guitarist Miloš Debuts New Guitar Concertos

Montenegro-born, and London-based classical guitarist Miloš, celebrates his 10th anniversary with the recording label Decca by releasing The Moon and the Forest, which includes two concertos written for him. Miloš (whose full name is Miloš Karadaglić), asked two composers as famous for their film music as for their concert works: Joby Talbot (who has residences... More

painting of people on the subway

May 17, 2021

Simone Dinnerstein’s “An American Mosaic”

John’s latest conversation with American pianist Simone Dinnerstein on her second recording made at home during the pandemic: An American Mosaic. The title is for the multi-movement piece written for her by Richard Danielpour who, finding himself isolated during lockdown, found solace in Ms. Dinnerstein’s recordings. Each movement is a portrait of groups of people... More

collage of a man in a white suit

April 19, 2021

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is “Uncovered”

Program Director John Pitman talks with violinist Karla Donehew Perez, of Catalyst Quartet, about the exciting new project they launched in January called “Uncovered”, focusing on underrepresented composers in classical music. Volume 1 sheds light on three beautiful works by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), a British composer who was greatly admired by contemporary audiences, as well... More

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