Professor Arnaldo Cohen appointed artistic director of Portland Piano International series

Congratulations to Jacobs School professor Arnaldo Cohen, who has been appointed artistic director of Portland Piano International series.

Here’s the news from the Oregonian:

Arnaldo Cohen, a Brazilian pianist teaching at the prestigious music school at Indiana University, will replace Harold Gray as the next artistic director of the Portland Piano International series. Cohen performs frequently in Portland, on both the piano series and with the Oregon Symphony. In 2010, he played all five Beethoven piano concertos with the orchestra. He made his Oregon Symphony debut in 2008 with Franz Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto.

Cohen will again perform on the Portland Piano International series in May. He’ll play Beethoven sonatas in B-flat Major and A-flat Major as well as the four Chopin Scherzi.

He last played on the series in 2009, playing the magnificent Liszt Piano Sonata, among other works. He has an unusual background that includes professional violinist, teacher of physics and mathematics and a cocktail pianist.

Portland Piano International has earned a respected place in the city’s music community. Since he started in 1978, Gray has invited 150 pianists to town, including some of the greats of the world: Radu Lupu, Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, Shura Cherkassky, AndrĂ¡s Schiff, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson and Murray Perahia.

Gray will retire next summer, but Cohen will begin to make decisions for the 2013-14 season now, said Patricia Price, the series’ executive director. “Harold will remain as a strong presence at our recitals this year,” she said. “They will have some overlap, as Arnaldo transitions to spending more time in Portland, and while we celebrate the year of Harold’s retirement and our 35th season.”

Cohen is exactly what the search committee was looking for, Price said. “He has a deep devotion to educating the next generation of musicians and music lovers, and he is an incredible talent and gentleman. His artistic vision’s clarity is obvious through his incredible pianistic abilities.”

David Stabler

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