“An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-1882]
Maurice "Moe" Unis
President & Owner of Classic Pianos
"Besides having my sons Brian, Taylor, and Aaron in the business with me, I am fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best piano people to be found anywhere in the entire piano industry...marketing, sales, technical, refinishing, restoration, touch-up, and piano moving professionals...who all share my passion for fine pianos. Collectively, they represent well over 150 years of experience with five-star rated pianos from American, European, and Asian piano makers," says Maurice R. Unis, president and owner of Classic Pianos.
Maurice has lead his team of nationally-recognized associates to bring home the Top Dealer Award from every piano manufacturer Classic Pianos represents.
Moe’s reputation for sales, service, and community involvement, backed by his original Classic Pianos Five-star Lifetime Trade-up Policy, has been recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest, the United States and Canada, and by the world’s top-tier piano manufacturers. Click History for the whole story.
Cathy Traylor Unis
Cathy Traylor minored in music at Miami of Ohio and later played piano for Civic Theater and Storefront Theater productions in Portland. She started working with Maurice Unis at the original Moe’s Pianos in charge of event rentals and master classes. After joining Sherman Clay / Moe’s, following Sherman & Clay’s 1989 acquisition of Moe’s Pianos, Cathy rejoined Maurice again in 1995 at Forte Marketing Group where she organized event sales nationwide. Now married to Maurice, Ms. Traylor continues to give input regarding Classic Pianos public relations, advertising, and marketing activities — including program advertising for the Oregon and Seattle Symphony orchestras; Oregon Public Broadcasting; Chamber Music Northwest; Seattle’s Gallery Concerts, Portland Piano International; Seattle Piano International; Oregon Ballet Theatre; Portland Center for the Performing Arts; The Old Church Concert Series; and newspaper advertising for sales and university events.
Brian Unis, Owner
Brian, eldest of the Unis sons, literally grew up in the piano industry. Spending nearly every free moment with his father, Maurice Unis, at the original Moe’s Pianos, Brian discovered his shared family passion for pianos at an early age. After graduating from Sandy High School, Brian attended Mt. Hood Community College. His love of pianos compelled him to partner with his father to establish Classic Pianos in Portland’s historic “Brooklyn Neighborhood” in 2001. Then in 2009, Brian joined his fourth generation piano family by expanding Classic Pianos into the Seattle market by opening Classic Pianos of Washington, Bellevue. Brian was mentored as an apprentice in all aspects of the business — including moving, accounting, piano restoration, sales, and management — and his education and experience continues through factory training by the top brand names in the music industry an earned certificate from New York’s William Steinway University, as well as participation through Yamaha University at its American corporate offices in California. He enjoys learning to play the piano, and has been taking lessons as a lifelong quest. Brian is married to Adrianne and they have three children.
Taylor Unis, Owner
The youngest of the Unis sons, Taylor, also grew up in the piano industry, working summers and part-time during school at the piano store. Cultivating his love for music at an early age, Taylor studied tuba in his formative years and played in Portland’s Youth Conservatory Orchestra (PYCO). Taylor received a scholarship to Mt. Hood Community College where he studied both music and business. His passion for music and family led him to join Classic Pianos to work side-by-side with his brother, Brian, and father, Maurice. Taylor plays a vital role as the resident Classic Pianos Yamaha Disklavier reproducing piano expert and plays a critical role in sales, internet marketing, and logistics. In addition to receiving a certificate from his participation in William Steinway University, he has also completed Yamaha’s Home Office Executive Management Seminar. Taylor is married to Maisie Thao Unis, a professional photographer, whose photographs appear in Classic Pianos marketing and advertising. Taylor continues to study music and is currently taking piano lessons.
Peggie holds a BA in French from Arizona State University. While playing flute in the Jewish Community Center Orchestra in Louisville, KY, she met her husband Rick. Ms. Zackery is part of the Classic Pianos management team, overseeing its community fund raising events, recital hall, and teaching studios. She is a “continuing piano student,” and says that taking piano lessons helps her better relate to her customers. She has visited the Yamaha piano factory in Hamamatsu, Japan; and Steinway & Sons,￼New York, where she earned a certificate at its William Steinway University. Rick and Peggie’s two daughters, Margaret and Rachel, have also studied piano. Their eldest daughter, Rachel, is an accomplished French horn player and played with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony before graduating from the University of Oregon with a BA in International Studies. Rachel is a videographer / editor in Eugene and also does projects for Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and KMHD.
Rick and his wife Peggie were brought to Portland from Louisville, Kentucky in 2001 to take responsibility for developing and directing the executive management team of Classic Pianos. Rick earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Kentucky and his Master’s degree in Music Performance on French horn from Rice University’s renowned Shepherd School of Music in Houston. Rick is a fully trained concert tuner and technician with over 20 years of experience. He has tuned for Sunriver Music Festival, internationally renowned concert pianists, and teachers – university faculty and private members of the Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). He also works closely with professors and university music departments in setting up Piano Loan Programs. Zackery is the head technician at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, and Clark College, Vancouver, Washington.
Jim majored in liberal Arts at the University of Oregon and studied piano with Dr. John Hamilton, a protégé of keyboard icon Wanda Landowska. Walls joined Rodgers Organ Company in 1967 and served under CBS, Inc., New York, and Steinway Musical Properties, Inc., Boston ownerships as vice president of marketing. In 1974, he was a key executive in negotiating the five-manual Rodgers organ for Carnegie Hall. Currently Walls directs marketing, advertising, and public relations activities for Classic Pianos and teaches piano (see Piano Lessons). Jim has played piano since age five and has been featured on BBC Radio. Walls has played for Friends of Chamber Music, Pittock Mansion, Huber’s, Oregon Public Broadcasting fund-raising events, and numerous private parties. He holds a Certificate in Keyboard Skills from the highly-respected Berklee College of Music, Boston, and is a member of the Oregon Music Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association, National Association for Music Education, and Oregon Music Education Association.
John joined Classic Pianos from Houston, Texas in 2005 as manager of Classic’s Restoration Shoppe — an alluring workshop set in the ambiance of old-world-like beams, used bricks, hanging piano artifacts, salvaged piano parts, waxed concrete floors, and hand-carved restorations from a bygone era — all situated and headquartered in Portland’s historic “Brooklyn Neighborhood.” While in Houston, Slavick was shop manager for the Steinway dealer. He apprenticed with concert piano tuner Dean Shank at Rice University, and earned master technician status with Steinway & Sons ― including sessions with Steinway’s guru, Franz Mohr, past tuner/technician for the world’s greatest pianists. John has tuned for the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, Rice University, Texas A & M, venues involving the Seattle Symphony, as well as chamber orchestras and touring international concert artists. In 2009, Slavick was named manager of Classic Pianos of Washington in Bellevue. Today, he maintains a busy schedule between his Bellevue management responsibilities and duties as supervisor of Portland’s Classic Collection repair and restoration.
A native of San Diego, California, Kathy has worked closely as the dealer liaison for world renowned artists and arts organizations in conjunction with Yamaha Artists Services as well as Steinway & Sons throughout her career. In 2008, she assumed responsibilities for Concert and Event Rental Services for Classic Pianos. Servicing the entire Pacific Northwest region, Ms. Walke manages Classic’s extensive concert rental fleet of full concert, semi-concert, and baby grand pianos for artists and events. In addition to her work managing Classic’s Concert and Event Rental Services, Kathy works closely with universities and other institutions in Classic’s Institutional Sales Department. See Piano Rentals.
Fred Riley, a Graduate of Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester Virginia, joined Classic Pianos in 2009. With a piano tuning background, Fred has 29 years in the piano industry. Networking with Piano Technicians, Educators, & Designers has been his "forte". Fred has a genuine interest in helping people find the perfect instrument for their needs.
Margaret started her music career at the age of 13 singing and performing with country bands throughout the Pacific Northwest. She performed with top artists in the field of country music such as Buck Owens and Loretta Lynn, including Bob Wills at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas. This lead to opening her own music store in the late 1960s. Ms. Woods organized organ clubs throughout Oregon, especially Eugene and Portland, whereby digital pianos were also part of organ club activities. Widely known and respected at the national level by the Yamaha Corp. as well as music dealers, she has been successful in organizing and managing outside promotion events at fairs, home and garden shows; and she developed Piano / Organ Extravaganza stage shows at the Oregon State Fair. She joined Classic Pianos to help with Outside Sales and Pro- motions. The music industry has been her life passion for over 50 years and she is “...grateful to be part of the Classic Pianos family.”