Sunday, May 17, 2009

Meet Beverly Serra-Brooks

With her velvety voice, Songbird Tahoe Jackson knows about music. So when she suggested pianist Dr. Beverly Serra-Brooks as the most fascinating person she knows, we sat down and listened. Here's what Tahoe had to say about Beverly:

I met her at a society of classical players that get together and do their pieces of rare music. My god... amazing ... new to Portland...She is the Jay Z of classical players....She can call Steinway anywhere in the world and have it delivered..pimp. She teaches at Marylhurst University and her husband is her manager.

Welcome Beverly.

1. What motivates you to get up in the morning?

Well, so many things to do! But, really because I'm interested in light (especially morning), it's movement & varied color and how that intersects with my work as a pianist. So much of Impressionistic (Debussy & Ravel) piano music is centered around aspects of light & noticing that in everyday life helps me gain ideas of how to craft that in sound.

2. What keeps you awake at night? What obsesses you?

Mostly I hit the hay, and go right out. Unless its 24 or a good Law & Order. But seriously, the plight/oppression of women around the world, the negative atmosphere we seem to live in. My students & the crazy things they do. Really, how to challenge them & protect them--art is a fragile thing.

I'm obsessed with music--piano in particular and thinking deeply about music, and how sound works as a metaphor for life's experiences / hopes and despairs.

3. What do you struggle with most?

Giving up & letting go. You can't change everything & you can never go back!

4. What is the most valuable lesson you've learned?

Don't live life as a consolation prize. Once I realized that, a whole new sense of adventure in life opened up. Don't borrow trouble, keep your head down and think positive. And LIGHTEN UP! Keep working on your dreams, they go through various stages, so don't give up early; you might miss the best part.

5. What is your personal philosophy or motto?

"A Person who says it can not be done should not hinder a person doing it."

PS: Forgive me for the sameless self-promotion but artists got to eat too! CD's available @, and all over internet music sites. Or by googling my name.

A favorite with audiences for her sensitive and exciting interpretations, Beverly Serra-Brooks hails from a long line of Romantics. Ms. Serra-Brooks made her New York Recital Debut at Carnegie Hall and her West Coast Debut at the Japan-America Theater in Los Angeles, and, since then, has been performing in concert halls across the United States and Europe. Featured on nationwide programs such as NPR's Performance Today, Ms. Serra-Brooks was inducted into the International Who’s Who of Music and Musician’s, Who’s Who of American Women and the 2000 Most Notable Women In America Millennium Award.

She is a concert & recording artist for Eroica Classical CD Recordings: and has two new CD releases coming out this summer: one of music by Haydn for the 2009 anniversary year, and another of music by Brahms, Schoenberg, Robert Schumann & Clara Wieck-Schumann.

Photo by Howard Stapleton.


The Frog Queen said...

Thanks for introducing us.
Portland is once again luck to be graced with yet another wonderful and talented artist!
I enjoyed reading about the process of light to music. Fascinating! Her quote "Don't give up early; you might miss the best part." Was something I needed to hear.
Nice to meet you Beverly Brooks.
Looking forward to the next installment!

Christi Olmstead said...

You sound like a true artist, my sister, Raye Stapleton, gave me one of your cd's. You are awesome, and keep up the good work!
God bless,
Christi Olmstead

Christi Olmstead said...

Oh and nice pic! My Brother-in-law is Howard Stapleton, an awesome artist in his media

Anne Therese Puglisi said...

This little comment space gives me the opportunity to do something I have long desired .... Gush a little about a very dear, dear, person. Dr. Beverly and I have been friends for over 30 years. Through high school,and on ward. She is one of those wonderfully rare human being's who carries with her not only an incredible ability of interperative artistry as a pianist, but also as a teacher. She imparts to her students the expansive knowledge and experiance garnered from her own pedagogy with endearing sincerity and care. She lives and breathes music in all it's aspects and isn't afraid to say it, give it, or be it. I am honored to call her friend. And if this site can bring her any of the recognition or opputunity that she so deserves then Fortissimo!
Anne Therese Puglisi, Artist