Willamette music series features renowned Brazilian pianist

Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen, whose increasingly successful career has taken him to the major concert halls of Europe and North and South America, will perform in January at Willamette University as part of the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series.

The concert is Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. in Hudson Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center. The program will include Haydn’s Sonata in F Major, Brahms’ Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, and Chopin’s Four Scherzos.

Cohen also will give a master class on Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. in Hudson Hall. The class is free and open to the public.

“Arnaldo Cohen has a powerful expressive voice and an unusual ability to communicate the human qualities of the music,” said music Professor Anita King, director of the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series. “We are fortunate to present an artist of this stature. The generous program includes monuments of the 19th-century piano literature by titans Chopin and Brahms.”

Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “the greatest pianist you’ve never heard of,” Cohen first came to prominence after winning First Prize at the 1972 Busoni International Piano Competition and making his debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. For five years he was a member of the acclaimed Amadeus Trio, and he has performed with many string quartets and with orchestras at renowned venues worldwide.

An artist of diverse interests and talents — including piano, violin, physics, mathematics and soccer — Cohen earned a degree in piano and violin at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro before studying music under renowned teachers in Rio and Vienna.

His critically acclaimed discography includes a rendering of the two Liszt Piano Concertos and the Totentanz with the Sau Paulo State Symphony Orchestra; an all-Liszt solo; and his pioneering CD, “Three Centuries of Brazilian Music.” Cohen taught at the Royal Academy of Music and lived in London for 23 years before recently relocating to the U.S., where he is a piano professor at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Cohen will return to Salem May 15 to perform Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Oregon Symphony.


Tickets for the Jan. 22 concert are $22 for adult reserved seating, or $5 for students with ID. They are available through or at Travel Salem, 181 High St. NE, (503) 581-4325, (800) 874-7012. Tickets are also available at the door.

Special holiday package: Purchase an additional ticket to the Oregon Symphony’s May 15 concert featuring Cohen and receive discounts on both tickets. Offer good through Jan. 21.

Learn more

Willamette Music Department: 503-370-6255
Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series 
Arnaldo Cohen 
Oregon Symphony Association in Salem