Classical 91.5

Relevant Tones

Saturdays, 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXY-FM 90.3 and online at, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1

Relevant Tones is a weekly exploration of the most fascinating time in classical music: right now!

Host Seth Boustead

From up-and-coming firebrands to established artists, this program celebrates the dynamic and diverse musical creations of modern-day composers from around the world.

Ways to Connect

Can You Feel It? Synesthesia in Music: August 2018

Jul 30, 2018

Synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon where one mode of sensing is involuntarily linked to another form of sensing, such as people seeing colors in music, tasting sounds, or hearing numbers. Many famous composers have been been hypothesized to have this condition, including Alexander Scriabin. Scriabin utilized his condition to his strength, creating a “light organ” to display colors that corresponded to different notes in his pieces. Tune in August 18th to hear his beautiful collection of color!

What we call "in" and "out" of tune, although one may disagree when one hears a below average middle school band concert, is actually relevant.


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

Classic FM

5/5          In The Field: Big Ears Festival Seth Boustead and producer, Sarah Zwinklis are taking a road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. Regarded as one of the most unique, boundary-defying and eagerly anticipated cultural gatherings – “a music festival with a rare vision” (The New York Times) – Big Ears Festival returns in 2018 with perhaps its most multi-faceted and diverse line up to date.

South Brooklyn Network

Contemporary music and Contemporary art come together at the Look & Listen Festival.  Hear more on the 4/21 broadcast.  Learn more about the Brooklyn festival.

Fulcrum Point New Music Project

This month includes a composer spotlight with composer Javier Alvarez on 3/31.  Learn more about his New Music Project.

2/3       Visual Aids  We’ve always been fascinated here at Relevant Tones with how our perceptions of music change when it’s paired with visual imagery. With that in mind we’re asking several prominent visual artists to suggest imagery to a wide variety of different pieces by living composers. Relax, close your eyes and enjoy the view!

We'll hear Eighth Blackbird (1/13) and meet its founding cellist Nick Photinos (1/27) this month.

1/6       Music Days Vancouver Part II

The International Society for Contemporary Music holds arguably the world’s most important contemporary music festival in a different city each year. Much like the Olympics, cities bid to be the host and this year it’s in Vancouver.

1/13      Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab

People's World

This month's celebration of new music includes John Adams' radically updated Latino Christmas oratorio,
El Niño (12/30). Learn more.

National Sawdust

11/4    Foster the Music: Ireland The Contemporary Music Centre in Ireland is one of the world’s foremost models of government support for composers, with dozens of composers receiving financial support, commissions and travel grants. We plunge into the incredible wealth of music created by this program.