Classical 91.5

Ruth Phinney

Classical 91.5 and Reachout Radio Program Director

Ruth began working for WXXI in 1982 as the radio division secretary after working as a music teacher in several local districts.  Trained as a classical musician, she was the perfect match for creating program listings for the monthly program guide and working with the radio hosts. As she began to learn the business of "radio," she took on the job of managing what is now WXXI Reachout Radio, and later to manage both Reachout Radio and Classical 91.5.

Today she sets the strategic goals and programs for Classical 91.5 and works nationally with Classical Music Rising, a collaborative project of leading classical stations to shape the future of classical music radio as the field confronts evolution in delivery across multiple broadcast and digital platforms, demographic and cultural change, and significant disruption throughout the music industry.

Ways to Connect

The Listeners' Club

Rafał Blechacz performs Brahms on the June 22nd broadcast. Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, who at age 20 swept all five top prizes at the 2005 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, can now add another prestigious award to his collection. Blechacz was named the 2014 Gilmore Artist.

Episode # 1822

6/2       Modernity  Modernism largely ignored popular music but popular music paid close (if selective) attention to how Modernist values, attitudes, and behavior affected the lives of ordinary people. As assumptions broke down and a passion for the New roiled the culture, Modernity in music pulled it off with ease, thanks to the engaging sound of American syncopation. Hike up your skirts, learn to kiss (and more), and rag everything in sight.

Jonathan Tichler/Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Concert took place on April 29th with maestro Bertrand de Billy leading the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato hosts the program and will perform a duet with guest artist, tenor Bryan Hymel.  The winners of this finals concert include Ashley Dixon, Mezzo-Soprano, Northwest Region; Jessica Faselt, Soprano, Upper Midwest Region; Madison Leonard, Soprano, Middle Atlantic Region; Carlos Santelli, Tenor, Western Region; and Hongni Wu, Mezzo-Soprano, Eastern Region.


On June 16 we'll hear from the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. You can try them out here.

You've probably heard Rimsky Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee. But have you heard Vaughan Williams Overture to the Wasps? You can on the June 7th broadcast. 


Meet Nicaraguan pianist, band leader and composer Darwin Noguera on the June 21st broadcast.

Saffron Screen

6/23    George Benjamin:  Lessons in Love and Violence (in English)
    The Royal Opera    
Stéphane Degout    King
Barbara Hannigan    Isabel
Gyula Orendt        Gaveston / Stranger
Peter Hoare        Mortimer
Samuel Boden        Boy / Young King
Jennifer France        Witness 1 / Singer 1 / Woman 1
Krisztina Szabó        Witness 2 / Singer 2 / Woman 2
Andri Björn Robertson    Witness 3 / Madman

Meet Mason Bates, composer by day, club DJ by night, and hear his music on the June 6th broadcast. Read more about Mason

Broadway World

Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk Collaborate for Carnegie Hall's Isaac Stern Memorial Concert.

6/5       Brahms:  Ballade No. 1 and 2 Schumann:  Kreisleriana Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 28, Hammerklavier Schubert/Liszt: Gretchen am Spinnrade Bizet/Horowitz: Variations on a Theme from Carmen Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 11 Chopin:  Waltz Op. 64 (Yuja Wang, p)


Meet Cuban-born  Tania Justina León, a composer, conductor and professor of contemporary concert music. She was born in Havana, Cuba on May 14, 1943.

6/4       The Red Book of Montserrat The Shrine of the Virgin of Montserrat was a major 14th-century pilgrimage site. Tonight we hear selections from the Red Book of Montserrat (El Llibre Vermell de Montserrat), the collection of devotional texts and music for the pilgrims to Catalonia’s Montserrat Monastery. Jordi Savall leads La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hespèrion XXI.