Raised in rural Indiana, Pink Martini bandleader Thomas M. Lauderdale began piano lessons at age six with Patricia Garrison. When his family moved to Portland, OR in 1982, he began studying with Sylvia Killman, who to this day continues to serve as his coach and mentor. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Oregon Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Chamber Music Northwest, and Oregon Ballet Theatre. 

In 2008, he played Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with the Oregon Symphony under the direction of Christoph Campestrini. Mr. Lauderdale returned as soloist with the Oregon Symphony in multiple concerts in 2011, and again in 2015, under the direction of Carlos Kalmar. In 2017, he and his partner Hunter Noack created and performed a two-piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with choreographer Nicolo Fonte for Oregon Ballet Theatre. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut with Pink Martini in 2006.

Active in Oregon politics from his student days at U.S. Grant High School, Mr. Lauderdale graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in history and literature in 1992. He founded Pink Martini in 1994 to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, the environment, affordable housing, and public broadcasting. In addition to his work with Pink Martini, he is currently working on three different recording projects with singer Meow Meow, the surf band Satan’s Pilgrims, and singer/civil rights leader Kathleen Saadat.

In 2008, Mr. Lauderdale completed his first film score, for Chiara Clemente’s documentary Our City Dreams, a portrait of five New York City-based women artists of different generations. In 2016, he created the score and three featured songs for the Belgian film Souvenir, starring Isabelle Huppert.

Mr. Lauderdale currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Symphony, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Oregon Historical Society, Confluence Project with Maya Lin, and the Derek Rieth Foundation. He lives with his partner Hunter Noack in downtown Portland, OR.

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