“My passion was to take pianos and make them great instruments,” says Maurice Unis, describing how he came to start Moe’s Pianos back in the mid-1970s. “An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-1882]
“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.”
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 that 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 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 as Ms. Traylor-Unis, she continues to give input regarding Classic Pianos public relations, advertising, and marketing activities, including program advertising for multiple institutions: 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 even newspaper advertisements for sales and university events.
Brian, the 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 with the opening of 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. His education and experience continues with factory training from 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 Unis and they have three children.
The second of the Unis sons, Aaron, was first schooled in the piano shop after graduating from University of Oregon. He enjoyed working on the pianos, themselves, and found himself most comfortable performing regulations on the pianos, guaranteeing each piano responded to the pianist touch precisely as it should. He expanded his work in the business by also heading up Classic Piano’s Concerts & Events Division until January 2008, when he left to take a teaching sabbatical in India.
Upon his return from India, Aaron returned to work for the store, drawn there by the joy of working with his family. Putting aside his degree in political science, he found the family business more rewarding than anything other job prospect. He now manages the company’s booking keeping, keeping track of all the financial actions of the growing company. His wife, Lynn, also assists Classic Pianos by managing social media outlets, even posting news and information in both English and Chinese! Their spare time is dominated by their two little darling childre.
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. 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.