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!

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Violas ruled the day when the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester wrapped up the season with two German masters. On the program: a Mendelssohn quintet that he did not like very much, and a stormy Beethoven quintet with an instrumentation that he never duplicated. The concert was recorded in the CityView Ballroom at the Strathallen on Sunday, May 12, 2019.

The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester served up a musical potpourri for this concert, with something old, something new, three young artists, and the jazzy side of Juliana Athayde. In addition to the always stellar line up of musicians from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music, the Amici Piano Trio--talented teens from the Hochstein School of Music-- got to take center stage for a flawless performance of Brahms. And, as happens each season with the SCMR, Juliana got a chance to let down her hair and swing a little. This concert was recorded on Sunday, April 7, 2019 in the Hochstein School of Music Performance Hall.

Brock Tjosvold: Alyssa Grasinski

This week's concert from the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester features a contrast of musical eras. On the one hand, there's a competition-winning flute sonata by Julian Bennett Holmes, played by Eastman School of Music graduate students Yi Xiang (flute) and Brock Tjosvold (piano). On the other, it's Beethoven's groundbreaking septet, featuring an all-star cast from the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. This concert was recorded on Sunday, February 17, 2019 in the Hochstein School of Music Performance Hall. 

Mozart had big plans when he arrived in Paris; sadly for him, none of them panned out. For the second in our series, the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester brought Wolfgang back to the City of Lights, and surrounded his Kegelstatt Trio with three French composers for happier results. This concert was recorded on Sunday, December 16, 2018 in the Hochstein School of Music Performance Hall.

Our new season with the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester begins with some European Romance: sextets by Richard Strauss and Antonin Dvorak, with a movement from the Oboe Quintet by Arnold Bax in between. It was recorded on Sunday, October 21, 2018 in the CityView Ballroom at the Strathallen.

A new season for the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester begins on Sunday afternoon, August 2 at 2pm! This year brings a cornucopia of musical delights from Artistic Directors Juliana Athayde, Erik Behr, and their many special guests.

For a composer who was so important in the development of the sonata and concerto, there's a surprising lack on infomation about the early years of Arcangelo Corelli. This we do know: by the age of 22, he was working in Rome, where he would make a name for himself, performing for heads of state and the church.  And his sphere of influence extended well beyond Italy; Bach studied Corelli's works, and used them as inspiration.

You might be surprised to learn that Eastman School of Music Professor of Music Theory David Temperley's third book is "The Musical Language of Rock." In an article in City Paper, Mona Seghatoleslami describes Temperley's compositional style as "tuneful, well-constructed classical chamber music with elements of pop and rock interwoven throughout." As with his cello sonata that

Lili Boulanger was on 2 years old when composer Gabriel Faure discovered she had perfect pitch. From that moment on, young Lili's path was set. She was barely five years old when her musician parents sent her along with big sister Nadia to classes at the Paris Conservatory to sit through lessons in music theory. By 16, Lili had her mind set on a career as a composer and her eyes set on the Conservatory's coveted Prix de Rome. Three years later, she became the first woman to win the prize.

In his day, Marc-Antoine Charpentier was prolific, popular and, unlike so many composers, not lacking for funds. He wrote in virtually every genre - oratorios, motets, even theatre music - but one of his most beloved works was his Christmas Mass, or Messe di minuit pour Noel. A regular offering in our Holiday Songbook, this is no somber sacred work. Charpentier used at least ten carols in his Mass, making it as dancelike as it is devout.