Spotlight image for Thursdays @ Three: Amir Avsker, Harry Baechtel & Chuck Dillard

Amir Avsker, Harry Baechtel & Chuck Dillard

August 31, 2023: Host Christa Wessel shares a special encore broadcast featuring pianist Amir Avsker, plus vocalist Dr. Harry Baechtel and pianist Chuck Dillard.

Amir performs works by Chopin, Mozart, and more. Dr. Baechtel and Chuck will share music by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel.

This episode originally aired July 20, 2023.


16-year-old pianist Amir Avsker is All Classical’s 2023 Young Artist in Residence. A junior at Westview High School in Beaverton, OR, Amir began playing the piano in 2014 and the violin in 2019. He has participated in and won several local and international music competitions and festivals, including the 29th Young Artist Debut Competition and the 2022 InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy.

To date, Amir has written over 40 original compositions, including works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and orchestras.

Learn more about Amir on the All Classical Arts Blog.

Northern California native Dr. Harry Baechtel enjoys a wide-ranging career in the vocal arts.  An advocate for new music, he created the role of Adam, a returned war veteran struggling with PTSD, in Ethan Gans-Morse’ contemporary opera/oratorio The Canticle of the Black Madonna.  He also has extensive experience in the standard operatic and oratorio repertoire.

Dr. Baechtel holds an M.M. in voice performance from Northwestern University, and a performer’s certificate from Boston University’s Opera Institute. He is currently an associate professor of voice at Portland State University. Learn more at

Whether he is collaborating with an instrumentalist, coaching a singer, conducting an opera, or accompanying a choir, Chuck Dillard is a musician at his best while working with others. Hired as a church pianist at age seven, he fashioned his musical beginnings, education and career around the art of collaboration.

Recently appointed as Assistant Professor at Portland State University, he created a new graduate program in Collaborative Piano. Previously, he served on faculty at the University of Texas at Austin from 2008 to 2016 assisting to create a similar program. From 2001 to 2005 he was on faculty at Furman University in Greenville, SC as instructor of music theory and staff pianist. Keep reading his bio at

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