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The Los Alamos Arts Council continues to offer programs to the public through its free Brown Bag Performance Series. Pianist Keith Porter-Snell will in concert along with cellist James Holland. The event will be at noon April 2 in the Pajarito Room of Fuller Lodge.
Porter-Snell is a pianist, piano teacher and writer of educational music for piano students. As a performer, he specializes in piano music written to be played with the left hand alone.
Porter-Snell appears as recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist throughout the United States and in the United Kingdom. He teaches beginning through advanced students, and has given more than 400 workshops to piano teachers throughout the United States and abroad.
He has more than 150 titles published by the Kjos Music Company, a leading publisher of educational music. Porter-Snell won the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, which provided his London debut in 1984. He subsequently signed with Columbia Artist Management and recorded for Virgin Records.
In 1986, Porter-Snell was diagnosed with focal dystonia (a repetitive motion injury) in his right hand. As a result, he found it increasingly difficult to meet the demands of his performance schedule. In 1988, he withdrew from his professional life as a pianist, and re-focused his energies on his teaching career, expanding his independent piano studio and giving master classes throughout the United States. He is currently visiting artist faculty at the New Mexico School of Music.
In 1993, Porter-Snell started his own company, Academy Records, which specialized in making CD recordings of standard piano teaching music. These CDs were created for piano students and teachers to listen to as models for performance. His creation of this product has influenced and revolutionized piano teaching materials. Porter-Snell’s entrepreneurial involvement with Academy Records led to the invitation from the Neil A. Kjos Music Company to become an editor, author and composer of educational piano music.
Porter-Snell is a proponent of piano music for the left hand alone. He returned to the concert stage in 2006 as a left-handed pianist, discovering an intensely gratifying new journey of music making. His left hand alone repertoire includes solo works, chamber music and concertos by 19th and 20th century composers, as well as new music written especially for him by Kathleen Ryan and Beverley Flanagan. In 2012, he made a three-week tour of Malaysia and Singapore. This July, he will perform and teach at the International Piano Festival in Lindlar, Germany.
A native of San Francisco, Porter-Snell lives in Santa Fe. He maintains a second home in Bath, England. Visit him at his website keithportersnell.com.
Holland is a native of Pensacola, Fla. For two years, Holland was a member of the New World Symphony, a Miami-based training orchestra under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1996, Holland was appointed Principal Cellist of the Charleston (S.C.) Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until his relocation to Albuquerque in 2007 with his wife, violinist Megan Julyan Holland.
Holland performs frequently with most of New Mexico’s musical organizations, including Albuquerque Chamber Soloists, Chatter, the Figueroa Project, Placitas Artists’ Series, Santa Fe Symphony, and Santa Fe Pro Musica. Holland spends his summers in Breckenridge, Colo., as Principal Cellist of the Breckenridge Music Festival orchestra.
Holland was invited by Daniels and Kellaway to perform with them again at the 2013 Detroit Jazz Festival. He maintains a large, active private teaching studio, and co-directs the strings program at Sandia Preparatory School with his wife Megan.