"“The best piano store in the Portland area, and possibly the Northwest.”"
The old Axiom that "self praise is no recommendation" holds true. That's why we at Classic Pianos prefer to pass along comments that others have written about us, instead of writing about ourselves.
"Thank you for your continued support. Our work would not be possible without you. Our newest grand scholarship winner was ecstatic to receive the Yamaha grand piano. Thank you again for helping to make this happen."
Rex Johnston, producer / engineer, is owner of a recording studio in Portland, Oregon. Recently, Johnston had Phil Della Penna fly in from New York to do some recording; and, while he was in town, took him to Classic Pianos.
Penna auditioned several pianos, including Yamaha's latest handmade CFX concert grand. When asked what he thought of it, he commented, “. . . one of the best pianos I have ever played in my life.” April 30, 2011. Quote used by permission.)
Phillip V. Della Penna has an extensive musical education, as well as a wide range of experience as a pianist / composer / arranger / musical director that includes studies at the Berkshire Music School at Tanglewood; composition with Aaron Copeland and Jacques Ibert; orchestration and conducting with Leonard Bernstein, score analysis with Julius Hereford at The Juilliard School of music, New York; arranging for Elmer Bernstein, Sammy Cahn, Max Steiner, Sammy Fain, Paul Webster, and Leonard Rosenman; numerous solo piano engagements including Bon Soir, L’Intrigue, Reuben Bleu, Grenedier, La Vie En Rose, Larson's, Café Madison, and New York's Waldorf Astoria. He has served as musical director for such immortals as Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Marlene Deitrich, Margaret Whiting, Dorothy Lamour, Jimmy Durante, and Dorothy Sarnoff, to name a few. Along with Dick Hyman, Noreen Lienhard, Johnny Morris, and Riccardo Scivales, piano stylings by Phil Della Penna appear in the great Steinway Library of Piano Music ― as well as in Sheet Music Magazine and Piano Today.
"I had my very skeptical piano teacher over to the house to see and play the 509... She was particularly impressed by how accurate the acoustic sampling had been to achieve the authenticity of the sound, as well as being blown away by the 'toys' capability. As she put it, it's a complete home entertainment system in a very small footprint."
“Thank you, Classic Pianos for your hospitality during my practice sessions in your recital hall for my concert and master class for the Portland Piano International Festival. I was impressed by your state-of-the-art facilities, as well as by the preparation of your superb pianos, and I found your staff to be both knowledgeable and gracious. Bravo!”
[Mr. Isacoff is the founding editor of Piano Today magazine, and author of the highly acclaimed Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization (Knopf/Vintage). He is on the faculty of the Purchase College Conservatory of Music (SUNY), and has given lectures and piano concerts in the U.S. and abroad, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Verbier Festival and Academy in Switzerland, the Miami Piano Festival, the Van Cliburn Piano Institute, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, and many others. His piano programs often combine classical repertoire with jazz improvisation, demonstrating the threads that may connect musical works created centuries and continents apart. A winner of the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing about music, he is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal and many music periodicals. Piano jazz studies were with Sir Roland Hanna.]
“Dear Friends of Classic Pianos: It was a joy to return to vibrant Portland again, following my earlier concert appearance there for Portland Piano International. Your masterful approach to tuning, voicing, regulating, and restoring heirloom Mason & Hamlin and Steinway grands recalls another bygone era of the Golden Age of Pianos. Your artistic vision is a model of inspiration for the piano connoisseur, virtuoso, student and teacher alike. Bravo!”
[Guest soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at age 15. Winner of numerous piano competitions, including the Gold Medal at the 1988 World Piano Competition in Cincinnati; the Kosciuszko Chopin Prize in New York; and top honors in the 1991 Milosz Magin International Competition in Paris.
Mr. Himy has been invited by the Bernstein family to celebrate the 90th anniversary tribute to Leonard Bernstein in a 2009 gala concert to be held at the Lukas Foss Music Festival in the Hamptons: Special 2009 Recital will include Copland Variations, Foss, Bernstein, and more.
Studies: Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, New York. Teachers: Thomas Schumacher, Adele Marcus, and Josef Villa.]
“I have known Maurice Unis, and some of his associates, for over twenty-five years. His understanding of technical rebuilding and piano restoration is, in a word, ‘unparalleled.’ The rebuilding of vintage Steinways at Classic Pianos is the finest of any store I’ve ever seen.”
WINNER OF FIVE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS:
First Prize – Rudolf Serkin Prize (1965), First Prize – Young Musician Foundation, Debut Auditions (Los Angeles, 1966), Third Prize - Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (1969), First Prize – William Kappell International Piano Competition (1972), First Prize – International Piano Recording Competition (1971 and 1973)
1980 piano soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Sir Georg Solti, Conducting Studies: Oberlin Conservatory – Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance; Eastman School of Music – Master of Music – Piano Performance and Literature. Teachers: John Perry, Frank Mannheimer, Cecile Genhart, Eugene List, and composer Samuel Barber.
“Sometimes, the only appropriate response is a heartfelt ‘thank you.’ That’s especially true for ‘givers’ such as Classic Pianos. Those who give so generously of themselves do so with no expectation of return. So, on behalf of the hundreds of grateful families in residence each month, thank you very much for the continued use of a Classic upright piano at each of our Houses. The melodic (and sometimes not so melodic, but still pleasurable!) sound resonates through the main floor for all to enjoy. I still love to hear the guests play — even when they’re not so talented! Thanks, again, for this tremendous gift!”
“Mason & Hamlin Company, Haverhill, Massachusetts, proudly presents its highest community achievement award to Classic Pianos of Portland.”
“Thank you for your incredible support of The Dougy Center through your participation in our Annual Benefit Auction with your new Baby Grand Piano. None of our work would be possible without you. We never charge families a fee, and all of our support comes from private sources such as individuals, corporations, and foundations. We have helped thousands of children and families move through the painful process of grieving since 1982, when we became the first grief support organization for children in the nation. You are now a part of that legacy. Thank you.”
“Thank you so much for your donation to the School of Piano Technology for the Blind. Your generosity has a significant impact on our ability to prepare blind and visually impaired students for careers in the piano tuning and technology field. They will join more than 250 graduates, who have come from 36 states, four Canadian provinces, and 10 countries, and gone on to successful careers throughout the world.”
“Many thanks to Mr. Unis, and all our friends at Classic Pianos,
for your generosity and support for our program.”
“Through the generous support and commitment of Classic Pianos, The Piano Santa Foundation continues to help achieve dreams and contribute to the cultural life of our community. As always, our piano placements with organizations continue to bring music into the community and are filling the halls of local schools, churches, and rehabilitation centers with music. Thank you, again, for your belief in our work.”
“It’s wonderful to see a business be as successful as Classic Pianos is, knowing the kind and generous people involved. They are good at their business and share their good fortune with the community.”
“If all Maurice Unis did was to sell more pianos than anybody else in Portland,his contribution to the city’s cultural life would be considerable.”
“Just a brief note to try to put into words the joy and delight I experienced yesterday after the exceptional tour through Classic Pianos… and the sincere and genuine enthusiasm and hospitality you evidenced… I walked by the store and got the urge to come in, and the magic began the moment I stepped inside and experienced the warmth of its environment.”
“Thank you so much for that gorgeous instrument for our Oregon Chamber Players October 11 concert. Poulenc has never sounded better!”
“Nothing but good things to say about Classic Pianos. I have a
lot of trust in their service, warranty, and the sincerity they’ve shown in making sure I’m a satisfied customer. Seems to me that Classic Pianos is getting a lot of sales...my guess is that there was pent-up demand here in Portland for a dealer people could feel comfortable with.”
“The best piano store in the Portland area, and possibly the Northwest.”
“I feel like we have been treated like royalty, even though our purchase wasn’t one of your high dollar transactions. Again, you have made life-long friends in us and we will highly recommend Classic Pianos to our family and friends.”
“I continue to be proud to refer anyone interested in pianos regardless of their level of expertise or finances. You provide a scope of service that is seldom seen from one individual in any industry. I commend and thank you once again.”
“Thank you for my new Sohmer! It sounds beautiful… Classic’s shop and reputation were what clinched it for me.”
"As an adult fulfilling a lifelong desire to play the piano, I was incredibly inspired by the best selling book, ‘The Piano Shop on the Left Bank.’ The book opened a whole new world to me. The first time I walked into Classic Pianos and found myself amidst the beautifully restored vintage pianos, I felt as if I might be in Paris and that I had discovered a similarly passionate world of piano right here in Portland."
“Over the years, I have played and purchased a number of pianos, including two new Steinways. Three years ago we decided to buy a really special instrument. In the course of a nation-wide search we traveled to see several Steinway Louis XV - Bs, but none excited us. When we finally discovered Classic Pianos, we were told that they had just completed restoring what sounded like our dream piano. When we were able to go to Portland and play the piano, we knew we had found exactly what we wanted. We could not have made a better decision. Our newly purchased Steinway Louis XV - B, built in 1928 and restored by Classic Pianos, is without exception the finest instrument I have experienced. The tone and touch are exquisite, as is the cabinet. It is difficult to exaggerate how much we enjoy this piano. It is truly a joy. Classic Pianos is home to an amazing group of professionals who are a pleasure to work with. Our time with them was memorable and heartwarming. We can’t say enough about their expertise and obvious passion for their pianos. They make buying a piano a truly personal experience.”
“I am still in awe both of the presence of this king of instruments in my apartment and of how you made this dream become a reality… I’ll be your publicity guy anytime! If anyone has any doubts, just put them on to me and I’ll set them straight.”