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

Photos: rossings.org

Ernest Bloch: Concerto Grosso No. 1

In March 2017, The Rochester Oratorio Society collaborated with the University of Rochester Humanities Center in the "Poetry for Peace" project--a month-long series that commemorated the centenary of the U.S. entry into World War I. Art, poetry, and music of that era were all explored in moderated discussions throughout Rochester, culminating in a concert on March 24. Included in the concert was Ernest Bloch's Concerto Grosso No. 1, a post WWI work written by Bloch to prove to his students at the Cleveland Institute of Music that "old" techniques of composition like tonality were still viable and interesting in this modern age.

Photo: John Schlia

Missy Mazzoli: Magic with Everyday Objects

Meet fivebyfive: a chamber group that brings together music of our time, multi-media presentations and, every now and then, shopping. And they do more than just mount concerts; they also hold workshops for students from elementary school through high school throughout the area, and have appeared in the Fringe Festival with our very own Mona Seghatoleslami.

Photo: Sarasota Orchestra

Richard Strauss: III. Vivace-Allegro-Tempo Primo, Oboe Concerto

Evan Meccarello founded the Hochstein Alumni Orchestra (HAO) in 2010, reuniting musicians who received training at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance.

Paul Schoenfield: Cafe Music

Juliana Athadye, violin

Ahrim Kim, cello

Chiao-Wen Cheng, piano

Composers can't always make a living wage simply writing, and so it was for Paul Schoenfield, who supplemented his compositional salary as the house pianist at Murray's Steakhouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. But all that tickling of the ivories did more that help pay the bills; it also was the inspiration for what has become one of his best known--and loved--works: Cafe Music.

Eastman Community School of Music

Graduation can be a fraught time, filled with questions about what's next. Flutist Adam Sadberry , about to graduate from the Eastman School of Music, has no such worries--he recently won the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's African-American Fellowship, and will be a member of the DSO flute section for the next 2 years. On the next Backstage Pass, Adam will talk with Julia Figueras about the fellowship, his turn on NPR's From the Top, and more...and play works by Georges Enesco, William Grant Still, Erwin Schulhoff, and Frank Martin.

Photo: James Michael/City Paper

Henry Purcell: Selections from Dido and Aeneas 

It was the Dog Days of summer, so what better time to mount an opera? And so Pegasus Early Music did just that, staging Henry Purcell's only opera, Dido and Aeneas in August, 2017 at the Louis S. Wolk Jewish Community Center. While Pegasus Early Music is known for its chamber concert series, Artistic Director Deborah Fox saw Purcell's opera as an extension of chamber music, with a small orchestra and a large cast.

Hartwick.edu

Louis Vierne: Messe Sollennelle, op 16

In this Performance Rochester presentation with First Inversion, you'll hear one of two French masses they undertook for this January 2018 performance, which also included motets by Maurice Durufle. Malcolm Matthews and Oliver Brett are the featured organists. The Mass is considered to be one of the highlights of the late Romantic sacred works.

David Liptak: Cold Litanies

One hallmark of the First Muse concert series has been its commitment to commissioning new works. For Joys and Litanies: A Local Perspective, a concert held on September 24, 2017, First Muse Artistic Director Melissa Matson refined that idea, programming works by three Rochester composers: David Liptak (left), Cary Ratcliff (lower rt), and James Willey. Cold Litanies, a work written by David Liptak in 2007 and revised in 2015, is featured on Performance Rochester.

Josef Rheinberger: Die Wasserfee (The Mermaid)
Sir Edward Elgar: The Dance

Recorded in concert in March and April at Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, these two songs from "Turkish Love Songs and Other Romantic Rarities" mark the first of two appearances for Lee Wright and First Inversion on Performance Rochester. You may recognize Elgar's "The Dance." Elgar's wife wrote lyrics for a series of tunes Elgar composed while they were on holiday in the mountains; Elgar would later remove the words to create his Bavarian Dances Suite.

Suher/Liptak: Andy Olenick

Bobby McFerrin: 23rd Psalm
Richard Proulx: Psalm 133
Richard Nance: Psalm 42

In these days of high speed and fraught emotions, who doesn't want a moment of peace? That's what Madrigalia offered when it combined forces with the Cordancia Chamber Orchestra for "Songs of the Soul" in May, 2017. Together, they offered up a concert filled with settings from the Book of Psalms--each one unique and thoughtful. You'll hear modern settings of three psalms, beginning with vocalist Bobby McFerrin's song,  dedicated to his mother.

Madrigalia is composed of 18 highly skilled vocalists from the Rochester area. Known for its beauty of sound and artistic excellence, the ensemble presents unique and challenging programs of choral music built around intriguing themes. Their music draws from all times and places, spanning the riches of classic choral styles, the vast range of compelling music being written in our time, and the intriguing musical expressions of cultures throughout the world.

Cordancia was formed in 2009 by violinist Pia Liptak and oboist Kathleen Suher. The ensemble offers up eclectic programs that blend the traditional with the unexpected. They appeared in the holiday edition of Classical 91.5's Backstage Pass in December 2014.


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