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

The professors are coming! On the next Backstage Pass, Julia Figueras introduces you to the Felix Ensemble--a clarinet trio from the Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College. This faculty trio, which performs regularly in the Southern Tier, is driving a bit north, bringing Brahms, Beethoven, and a bit of Brazil into our studios. Friday afternoon at 1 on Classical 91.5.  The show repeats on Sunday, November 17 at 1 PM.

Tessa Ward: Lauren Desberg

Tessa Lark's star is shining brightly. She brings her luminous presence into Kodak Hall this week for a performance with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Alban Berg's Violin Concerto. Tessa and RPO music director Ward Stare came by our studios to talk with Julia Figueras about this deeply moving piece, as well as Bach, Bartok, Webern, and the freedom of fiddling.

Cellist Andrei Ionita brought down the house when he played Shostakovich for his RPO (and American!) debut just over a year ago. He's back in town, this time to play a concerto that struggled to gain a foothold in the concert hall. Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra music director Ward Stare has framed the concerto with touches of spring, dashes of melancholy, and a lengendary ballet. Both came to our studios to chat with Julia Figueras.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Conductor Laureate, Christopher Seaman, is back in town for a concert of audience favorites, including Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with soloist Simone Porter. Christopher and Simone came to our studios to talk with Julia Figueras about the program, as well as giving us the inside scoop on Simone's new violin and what's on their reading lists. 

Orli Shaham: Christian Steiner

This week, your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes a new maestro and the return of a fan favorite. Conductor David Danzmayr and pianist Orli Shaham combine forces with the RPO for a concert of two temperamentally different symphonies and a songbird's concerto. Julia Figueras sat down in our studios to talk about the pieces, programming, and the power of music for our youngest listeners in Orli's Bach Yard. 

Anthony Dean Griffey has had an extraordinary journey, from rural North Carolina to the world's greatest opera stages. Now he makes Rochester his home as a voice professor at the Eastman School of Music. On the next Backstage Pass, this four-time Grammy winner shares his story with host Julia Figueras. He and pianist/conductor Timothy Long offer up a program of English and American music on Friday, October 4 at 1 PM. The show will repeat on Sunday, October 6 at 1 PM.


It's a bold opening night for the new Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra season: four works of our time, never before performed by the RPO. Needless to say, the orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Ward Stare, is up to the challenge. Anchoring the program is John Adams' Scheherazade.2, a work premiered by RPO guest soloist Leila Josefowicz. Ward and Leila walk us through that piece - and the three others - and explain why playing contemporary music is important...and thrilling.

Pegasus Early Music is about to begin Season 15. Founder and Artistic Director Deborah Fox has rounded up three brilliant viola da gamba players to begin this landmark season. David Morris, Lisa Terry, and Beiliang Zhu will all be in our studios to play, and to chat with host Julia Figueras. It's a performance that will be simply viol, Friday September 20 at 1 PM.  The show repeats on Sunday, September 22 at 1 PM.


Garrett McQueen is a man of many talents: overnight host for Classical 24, creator and producer of the podcast Trilloquy, and bassoonist extraordinaire. He's in town to moderate the opening day panel discussion for the Gateways Music Festival, but found a moment or two to sit down and chat with Julia Figueras about his life path, and why Gateways is inspiring and important to him...and to us.

Backstage Pass is hitting the road again, and you can be there to see it! In celebration of the Gateways Music Festival, Julia Figueras again hosts Backstage Pass live from Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre with the GMF Orchestra, guest artists, and a live audience.

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