About Keith


As a child, Keith Porter-Snell showed many of the typical traits associated with prodigies: abundant musical gifts coupled with a desire and aptitude for performance. By 21, he had had many of the typical experiences of a prodigy: contest wins, professional engagements, and world class teachers.  

By 25, with an international contest First Prize, a formal London debut, an internationally best-selling CD, and a contract with Columbia Artist Management, everything seemed on track for someone who would be spending a significant portion of his life on the concert stage.  Unfortunately, by 1986, signs of an overuse injury were beginning to hamper the refinement of Mr. Porter-Snell’s control of the instrument. Diagnosed with focal dystonia in the right hand, Mr. Porter-Snell was finding it increasingly difficult to meet the demands of performing, and in 1988 he withdrew from his professional life as a pianist.

In the early 1990’s, Mr. Porter-Snell began to re-focus his energies with even more vigor on his teaching career.  Teaching has inspired him to produce a wealth of instructional materials for piano students.  Mr. Porter-Snell has nearly 150 titles published by the Kjos Music Company, and he has been the producer of more than 35 CDs of piano music created specifically for students.  He has given over 400 workshops, clinics, and master classes, sharing his experience and expertise with piano teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and the Far East. In the summers, Keith teaches at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute as the Assistant Director of the Young Artist Piano Program.

In 2004, Mr. Porter-Snell began to pursue physical therapies which give more freedom to those affected by focal dystonia. By degrees, he began performing again with both hands.  Although there is improvement, Mr. Porter-Snell does not yet feel the same ease in the right hand of his early years.  However, becoming a passionate proponent of piano music for the left hand alone has surprised no one more than Mr. Porter-Snell himself.  The exploration of repertoire written for the hand with which he has the most freedom has become an intensely gratifying new journey of music making.

Mr. Porter-Snell gratefully acknowledges those teachers who have had the biggest influence on his piano playing: his mother, Carol Cyr, who gave him his first lessons and was an ever present source of guidance and support; Maria Clodes Jaguaride, Professor of Piano at Boston University; and John Perry, Professor of Piano at the University of Southern California.

Mr. Porter-Snell lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.



There's a divinity which shapes our ends,

Rough-hew them how we will 

Hamlet, V:ii, by William Shakespeare



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© 2017 Keith Porter-Snell