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

O'Connor: Bel Canto Global Arts

Amy Beach: III. Credo, Grand Mass in E-Flat, op. 5

It was a full house at the Hochstein Performance Hall on October 20, 2017...both in the seats and on the stage. Rochester Oratorio Society music director Eric Townell gathered a host of talent to celebrate the centenary of women's suffrage in New York. In addition to the 130 member ROS, he brought in Concentus Women's Chorus, under the direction of Gwendolyn Gassler, the ROS Orchestra, and four soloists, including soprano Elena O'Connor.

Claude Bolling: Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

Rebecca Gilbert, flute
Jeff Campbell, double bass
Chiao-Wen Cheng, piano
Dave Mancini, drums

It was a stroke of genius: jazz pianist Claude Bolling wrote a seven movement Bach-infused suite for jazz piano trio and flute, enlisted the talents of classical flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal to play with his band, and released an album with a sassy and sexy cover. It was an instant best seller, and was nominated for a Grammy award that year.

Telemann: Noveaux Quatuors en Six Suite, No. 2

In May, 2017, the Publick Music took us to the salons of eighteenth century Paris, one of the great centers of artistic and intellectual life in Europe. Paris was hopping--one report said you could see a concert every day in the city. So what, you might ask, is a piece by Georg Philipp Telemann doing on the program?

Matson: Canandaigua Lake Music Festival/Galvan: MostArts Festival

Frank Bridge: Two pieces for viola and piano

The First Muse concert "British Buddies" on November 19, 2017 in the First Universalist Church gave us three delightful entries for Performance Rochester  2018.

All photos: rpo.org

Bach/Sitkovetski: Goldberg Variations for string trio, BWV 988

The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester produced a concert to celebrate the many influences of Bach. Included was Dmitry Sitkovetsky's chamber arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations, a work he wrote to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Bach's birth.

rossings.org

Lili Boulanger: Psalm XXIV

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.

Michael Haydn: Sigismondo Requiem in c-minor

In the first century, Longinus wrote a treatise, Peri hypsous, or On the Sublime, positing that words could offer us transcendence beyond ourselves.

Michael Ruhling, director of Ensemble Perihipsous, seeks to take us to that higher plane through works from Haydn's era.

Monteverdi:  Con che soavita
                            Si ch'io vorrei morire                      
                            Zefiro torna e di soave

There wasn't a cake big enough to fit all the candles for Monteverdi's birthday, so Pegasus Early Music celebrated in song for his 450th. The party, which happened in the Downtown United Presbyterian Church, featured sopranos Laura Heimes and Shari Alise Wilson; mezzo-soprano Virginia Warnken;  tenors Andrew Fuchs and Jonas Budris; and bass Steven Hrycelak. Joining them were lutenists Dan Swenberg and Deborah Fox, along with David Morris playing cello and lirone.

Matson: Canandaigua Lake Music Festival/Galvan: MostArts Festival

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Suite for Viola and Piano, Group 1 (1934)

We end this work week where we began it: in the First Universalist Church for the First Muse concert "British Buddies" on November 19, 2017. First Muse founder and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Violist Melissa Matson and pianist Kurt Galván play this charming three movement with a Prelude, and Carol, and a Christmas Dance (this was performed in November, after all).

Hochstein School of Music and Dance

Alexander Borodin: Two movements, Petite Suite

Evan Meccarello founded the Hochstein Alumni Orchestra (HAO) in 2010, reuniting musicians who received training at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance. Since its debut, the HAO has played summer concerts in Canandaigua and Perinton, adding an annual winter concert in the Hochstein Performance hall in 2011. When not on stage with a baton, you can find Mr. Meccarello hosting Soundspace Tuesday afternoons on WAYO, 104.3 FM.

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