Spotlight image for Thursdays @ Three: Ilya Yakushev

Ilya Yakushev & Rose City Trombones

December 1, 2022: Host Christa Wessel welcomes pianist Ilya Yakushev and the Rose City Trombones to the Roger O. Doyle performance studio.

Ilya Yakushev will share a preview of his upcoming performances with Portland Piano International, including works by Haydn, Mozart, Gershwin, and more. The Rose City Trombones will perform selections from their Trombone Extravaganza event at PSU’s Lincoln Hall.


With his “winning blend of rapturous lyricism and dramatic flair” (San Jose Mercury News), Ilya Yakushev marks his Portland Piano International debut with a fascinating program that unites Classical elegance and fiery modernism.

With many awards and honors to his credit, Russian pianist Ilya Yakushev continues to astound and mesmerize audiences at major venues on three continents. Winner of the 2005 World Piano Competition which took place in Cincinnati, OH, Mr. Yakushev received his first award at age 12 as a prizewinner of the Young Artists Concerto Competition in his native St. Petersburg. In 1997, he received the Mayor of St. Petersburg’s Young Talents award, and in both 1997 and 1998, he won First Prize at the Donostia Hiria International Piano Competition in San Sebastian, Spain.

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The idea for Portland Piano International was conceived and launched by pianist Harold Gray, who started a recital series at Portland State University devoted to the piano that quickly grew from four, to five, to six recitals each season. Across the country other recital series were closing their doors, but before long the PSU Piano Recital Series was regularly selling out with audiences clamoring for more.

By 1995, Saturday night recitals had been added to the sold-out Sunday recitals. In 1999, an annual Summer Festival was added to present even more recitals, along with a diverse array of master classes, lectures and films. In 2005, Portland Piano International was formed as an independent non-profit organization, to carry on the fine tradition established by the PSU Piano Recital Series but separate from Portland State University. 

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Rose City Trombones was formed in 2011.  They are classically trained trombonists but don’t let that stop them. Their members come also perform with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Portland Columbia Symphony, Portland Opera, Salem Orchestra, The Oregon Symphonic Band, Art Abrams Swing Machine, Big New Band and Big Horn Brass. RCT plays arrangements of everything from Bach to Bacchanal. Education outreach, open rehearsals, recordings and concerts are part of their design.

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