Four Generations and Their Love of Pianos
A family heritage
To say the Unis family’s history is steeped in pianos would be an understatement. In fact, the history of Classic Pianos stretches far back, past its initial founding, to when the company’s owner, Maurice Unis was a child.
Maurice grew up around pianos. He was trained in piano restoration by his grandfather, Maurice T. Schuster, who helped hone his skills on vintage names of piano’s Golden Age, which spanned 1875-1932. The elder Maurice, a violinist and piano tuner, owned the Acme Piano Company in Sellwood and even played with the Portland Symphony Society at President Roosevelt’s Dedication of Timberline Lodge in 1937.
“We deal with dreamers, professional pianists, teachers, beginners of all ages — who want choices. Each pianist longs to find the perfect piano that suits their particular taste and preference.”
— Maurice Unis
Maurice’s father also loved music and ran a piano shop on SE Belmont, although his passion for the law led him to become a lawyer and then a judge before he retired from the Oregon Supreme Court as The Honorable Richard L. Unis.
In 1976, Maurice founded Moe’s Pianos, which became Portland’s most recognized name in piano sales and service. Retailers around the country sought Maurice’s expertise and advice. He often said there was no secret to success: “Just give the buyer the widest possible choice, devote yourself to customer service, and be happy to take the piano back on a trade-up – no matter how many years down the line.”
In 1989, Maurice sold Moe’s Pianos to Sherman & Clay and stayed on as general manager for six years. Later, Sherman Clay moved in a different direction and closed their doors. In 1994, he began serving as a consultant for major piano manufacturers and national piano retailers and continues this service today.
Seeing a need for a family-owned, retail piano showroom where community support, selection and customer service was a top priority, Maurice and his son Brian opened Classic Pianos in a small space on the corner of Powell Blvd and Milwaukie Ave in SE Portland in 2001. Over the last 18 years, this facility has grown to become largest piano showroom on the West Coast.
The Unis Family of Owners & Managers
Their passion for pianos continues to grow
Maurice’s children also inherited this love for pianos
From childhood, they’d watched Maurice disassemble, clean, repair and refinish pianos — in the shop, the family garage, and even in the living room. Today, Maurice and his three sons live and breathe pianos at Classic Pianos. Brian serves as head of operations, Aaron manages the accounting department, and Taylor leads the sales and customer service team. The store’s campus at the east end of the Ross Island Bridge, next to the Aladdin Theater, has expanded to include a diverse community of technicians, piano teachers, and a piano moving company, as well an acoustically enhanced recital hall.
Classic Pianos takes pride in offering its customers the best piano for every taste and budget by partnering with the top manufacturers and continually researching to ensure they deliver value and quality.
Today, the Unis family owns seven piano stores in seven states, operating them all from the company’s 30,000 sq. ft. showroom and headquarters in Portland. Each store, no matter where it’s located, conducts business with the same integrity and passion that has made the flagship location so successful.
Why Should I Buy My Piano At Classic Pianos?
Extensive selection. Expert staff. Competitive pricing.
With a vast selection of new, used, and restored pianos, and our knowledgeable staff to help guide your selection, you’re sure to find your piano at Classic Pianos. Our selection is one of the most diverse and wide-ranging in the country, and our family’s passion for the instrument spans four generations!
Whether you’re looking for a traditional acoustic piano, a state-of-the-art hybrid or a lovingly restored vintage piano, we’ll help you assess your budget and needs in order to find the best piano to bring joy to your home for years to come.