PHOTO: Sophie Lippert, an international correspondent for All Classical Portland, plays the piano on a patio overlooking the Tel Aviv beach.
BY KERRY POLITZER
Pianist and educator Sophie Lippert has worn many hats during her professional life, from concert series curator to community-builder and performer with various symphony orchestras.
But during the pandemic, she had the opportunity to focus on one of her passions – the music of women composers. This translated into a dream job as the first international correspondent for All Classical Portland – a position that has Sophie blogging about her fascinating new life in Tel Aviv as well as the music of Israeli women composers. Some of this music is so obscure that it has never been recorded. “Which was crazy to me, because this is great music!” says the pianist enthusiastically.
When Sophie first moved to Portland over 10 years ago, she founded Vibrant Studios, a multi-purpose space for movement, wellness and art.
“That was my first way of becoming really passionate about engaging with the Portland community,” she says.
She also began the Connections Concert Series and forged links with All Classical Portland, appearing on the station’s “Thursdays @ Three” and collaborating on grant opportunities. The pandemic forced Sophie to pause her series and community-building activities, so she embarked on a rehaul of her traditional classical repertoire.
“I realized how much I loved to play music by underexposed composers, and in particular, music written by women,” she says. “It became very exciting to me.”
This past fall, All Classical Portland approached Sophie about a brand new position as international correspondent, and she gladly accepted. It worked out perfectly, as Sophie had already planned to be in Tel Aviv for the year (she has now extended her stay throughout 2023).
“I became really clear about having a strong desire to connect with Israeli culture and was very interested in finding different avenues through which to do that,” she says.
To that end, the pianist explored the Israeli Composers’ League and perused national archives of classical sheet music, learning about composers such as Sarah Feigin, Lotti Amit-Kalev and Na’ama Tamir Kaplan.
“I purchased a bunch of sheet music from Israeli libraries, and in conjunction with those sources, I (also) pursued individual relationships with living composers,” says Sophie.
She was able to feature their music on a recent trip back home to perform her discoveries on All Classical Portland. The concert can be streamed at allclassical.org/programs/program-archive.
Sophie blogs about her experience living in Tel Aviv at allclassical.org/arts-blog/. For more information about the artist, visit sophielippert.com.
Kerry Politzer is a writer, foodie and pianist who moved to Portland in 2011.