Classical 91.5

Julia Figueras

Music Director and Midday host

A Strong Memorial baby and Greece Arcadia grad, Julia Figueras is the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI-FM. She is also the producer and host for the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.

Figueras began her radio life in 1980 at WICN in Worcester, MA, and has been playing formats ranging from classical to rock to jazz, with a dash of talk in Boston, MA as well as at stations in Concord and Portsmouth, NH.  She received her bachelor's degree in theater, cum laude, from Brandeis University.

The mother of two daughters, she has a passion for the Boston Red Sox and New York Times crossword puzzles, loves Dvořák, Radiohead, Springsteen, and Brahms, and enjoys reading mysteries and histories. She is also a member of a trivia team that competes in weekly quizzes throughout Rochester. Currently, Figueras sits on the Board of Directors for the Penfield Symphony Orchestra with her husband, Peter Iglinski, and holds an honorary seat on the Amadeus Children's Chorale board. Previously, she spent 10 years on the Board of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Figueras also writes the WXXI Classical Music e-Newsletter. Sign up here!

Ways to Connect

Kondonassis: Mark Bettrell/Higdon: jenniferhigdon.com

They're back! Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is about to record the Jennifer Higdon harp concerto with soloist Yolanda Kondonassis that they all premiered in May. It's part of an all-American show that includes works by Patrick Harlin, Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein.

Lee Wright and First Inversion return to Backstage Pass with "Holding on Through Song," a sneak preview of their upcoming Fringe Festival debut. The program combines improvisation with arrangements of African American spirituals and the words of former slaves, including Rochester's Frederick Douglass.  WXXI's Kearstin Piper Brown will be a featured soloist, along with other Rochester musicians. Julia Figueras hosts this powerful edition of Backstage Pass on Tuesday, September 11 at 1 PM. The show repeats on Sunday, September 16 at 1 PM.


The great pianist Yefim Bronfman is joining forces with Ward Stare and your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to open the new season with two fan favorites and a concerto that Mr. Bronfman calls "a nightmare;" the Roman Carnival Overture by Berlioz, Dvorak's New World Symphony, and Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 all set the stage for concerts to come.  

Violinist Dylan Kennedy grew up in our area, finishing his high school years as the concertmaster for the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Last year, the Penn Yan native decided to give back to the place where he's called home.

https://www.fingerlakes-music.org

Our spotlight on summer music performances continues with one of the longer running festivals: the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival. Founded in 2002 by Richard Auldon Clark, the festival has brought music to vineyards, churches, barns, and Camp Good Days, played by members of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.

For the next three months, Backstage Pass will be spending time with some of the many wonderful summer music festivals  in our area. First up: The Geneva Music Festival. Festival director and founder Geoffrey Herd will talk to Julia Figueras about the creation, care, and feeding of this festival, and members of the Cavani String Quartet and friends will play Faure. Chill out with Backstage Pass on Friday, June 1. The show will repeat Sunday, June 3. Both shows begin at 1 PM.

A big ending is as important as a strong beginning, right? With that in mind, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Ward Stare chose Bizet's opera Carmen to close out the 2017-18 season. Reviled at the premiere, it became one of opera's greatest hits within three years after being shredded by Paris critics.

Ward Stare, mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy (Carmen), and tenor Dinyar Vania (Don Jose) sat down with Julia Figueras to discuss this now-iconic opera. 

Kondonassis: Mark Bettrell/Higdon: jenniferhigdon.com

Jennifer Higdon believes in magic. This week, Ward Stare, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra weave a spell with the world premiere of Higdon's Harp Concerto. All parties involved talked to Julia Figueras about the creation of this work, with a little Brahms and Britten in the mix, too...and it was magic.

Five years ago, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concertmaster Juliana Athayde and RPO Principal Oboe Erik Behr took the reins of the Society for Chamber Music Rochester.  Since then, changes have happened: new venues, commissioned compositions...even wine tastings.

Photo: Houston Style/Bruce Bennett

It's a concert of white noise, poisoning beauty, and a spectacular HD production to accompany a work that leaves us drifting in space. Houston Symphony Orchestra Conductor Laureate Hans Graf, who is the guest conductor for your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra this week, spoke to Julia Figueras about Ligeti, Scriabin, and Holst's The Planets.

Here's a brief quiz about The Planets by Gustav Holst.

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