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Thomas Lauderdale was raised on a plant nursery in rural Indiana. He began piano lessons at age six with Patricia Garrison. When his family moved to Portland in 1982, he began studying with Sylvia Killman, who to this day continues to serve as his coach and mentor. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Oregon Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Portland Youth Philharmonic, Chamber Music Northwest and Oregon Ballet Theatre (where he collaborated with choreographer James Canfield and visual artists Storm Tharp and Malia Jensen on a ballet based on Felix Salten’s Bambi, written in 1923). Active in Oregon politics since a student at U.S. Grant High School (where he was student body president), Thomas served under Portland Mayor Bud Clark and Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt. He also worked under Portland City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury on the drafting and passage of the city’s civil rights ordinance. He graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature in 1992. He spent most of his collegiate years, however, in cocktail dresses, taking on the role of “cruise director” … throwing waltzes with live orchestras and ice sculptures, disco masquerades with gigantic pineapples on wheels, midnight swimming parties, and operating a Tuesday night coffeehouse called Café Mardi. Instead of running for political office, Lauderdale founded the “little orchestra” called Pink Martini in 1994 to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, the environment, affordable housing and public broadcasting. In 2008, he performed as the featured piano soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia with the Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland under the direction of Roger Doyle, and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with the Oregon Symphony under the direction of Christoph Campestrini. In 2011 Lauderdale again appeared as the featured soloist with the Oregon Symphony, this time under the direction of the tremendous Carlos Kalmar. Lauderdale currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Symphony and Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
American concert pianist and visual artist Hunter Noack performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States and Europe, and curates and produces experimental performance, visual, and installation art. In all variations of his work, Hunter explores and exhibits literary, visual, and contextual dimensions of classical music. Hunter Recently received his Masters Degree with Distinction from Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) in London after attending the University of Southern California, San Francisco Conservatory, and Interlochen Arts Academy. At these institutions he studied with Paul Roberts, and Ronan O’Hora, John Perry, and Yoshikazu Nagai, respectively. His dedication to classical music and enthusiasm for collaboration and experimentation have led to classical concerti and recitals in major halls including Herbst Theatre (San Francisco) and the Kennedy Centre (Washington D.C.) to collaborations with visual artists, poets, dance and acting companies, in which he has premiered works for the BBC and exhibited his visual art and multi-run theatre productions in London and San Francisco. Numerous awards include First Prize in the Liszt International Competition in Los Angeles, MTNA Competition, USC Concerto, Pacific Musical Society, and the Audience prize at Moritzburg Festival in Germany among others. Hunter's artistic interpretations and engaging style have developed over a lifetime of working and collaborating with artists of all types including musicians Nicola Benedetti, Ruth Zeisak, David Dolan, Robert Levin, Ernst Reijseger, and Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini, poets Billy Collins and Dan Overgaard, conductors Lawrence Leighton Smith, Gerard Schwarz, Larry Livingston, Anu Tali, and Rachel Worby, the New Movement Collective (NMC) dance company, and the Sunriver Music Festival, Pasadena Symphony, Pasadena Youth, Eastern Music Festival, USC Thornton Symphony, and USC Concert Orchestras.
Violinist Ron Blessinger is an Oregon native, a proud graduate in 1983 of Hermiston High School. He received a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and a master’s degree with distinction in performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, after which he joined the Oregon Symphony in 1990. As a member of the orchestra, Ron has been a frequent soloist and chamber music performer, and in 2014 was elected as a player representative to the Oregon Symphony board of directors. Ron has been a passionate advocate for the work of living composers, both as a performer and artistic director for Third Angle New Music. Ron has performed on and been executive producer of twelve recordings of contemporary classical music to critical acclaim, recorded a film score for Turner Classic Movies, supported the work of regional composers via a commissioning program that has produced over sixty new musical works, and collaborated with every major arts institution in Portland, including the Portland Art Museum, Portland Center Stage, Artist Repertory Theater, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Oregon Symphony, Oregon Ballet Theater, Whitebird Dance Company, Jefferson Dancers, Architecture Foundation of Oregon, and Second Story Interactive, among many others.