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

Part of the Rochester Oratorio Society's Magnificat concert on November 1, 2019 was a performance by the Antara Winds. Over the years, they've also collaborated with the Perinton Concert Band, Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, and in concerts at SUNY Brockport, Roberts Wesleyan College, and elsewhere. 

madrigalia.org

Madrigalia is well known to Classical 91.5 listeners. They've appeared on Backstage Pass, and the group's "A Cup of Good Cheer" has been a happy tradition for years on Live from Hochstein. In fact, Madrigalia has been serenading Rochester and beyond for over four decades with no sign of slowing down.

It was a balmy 67 degrees on March 30, 2019, and the Publick Musick was celebrating spring in the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word with a musical tour of Naples, Italy. Among the destinations: a Recorder Concerto by Neapolitan Nicola Fiorenza. A man of mystery, Fiorenza's bio is remarkably thin--his birth date can only be pegged at sometime after 1700. He began as a cellist, switching to the violin after a stint in the Royal Chapel Court Orchestra.

One of the highlights of each year's Holiday Songbook on Classical 91.5 is John Rutter's setting of the Magnificat. It is a joyous outpouring, filled with rhythm and light. Inspired by Hispanic Christmas celebrations, Rutter conceived of the piece as a "bright Latin-flavoured Fiesta."

Let's hear it for the ladies! On March 2, 2020,  Pegasus Early Music presented "Nevertheless, She Persisted" in Downtown United Presbyterian Church--a concert of women playing works by women.

Let's return to the Society for Chamber in Rochester's April, 2019 Baroque and Blue concert for one of the most popular crossover pieces in classical music: Claude Bolling's Suite for Violin and Jazz Piano Trio. It all started in 1975 when jazz pianist Bolling released his Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio with Jean-Pierre Rampal to rave reviews and huge sales.

As a special Good Friday celebration, Performance Rochester is proud to present Bach's St. John Passion, in its entirety, with Voices under the direction of WilliamWeinert.  Founded by Weinert, Voices is a professional ensemble of some of western's New York's finest singers. 

The Canandaigua LakeMusic Festival was founded in 2004, with the mission to bring innovative programs to the Canandaigua area in a casual setting--perfect for summer in the Finger Lakes. Their educational shows for kids in the Wood Library are always packed, and the signature Classical Blue Jeans concert, pairing barbecue and an interactive program that ranges from fiddling to more standard fare, is always sold out.

Gerry Szymanski

This was to be a big season for Cordancia Chamber Orchestra, as it celebrated its 10th year; part of the celebration included a performance on Backstage Pass in February.

In 2011, violinist Geoffrey Herd brought together a group of friends to "entertain, inspire, and nurture a lifelong appreciation of classical music throughout the community" of Geneva, his hometown, and surrounding towns, and the Geneva Music Festival was born. As it turns out, Geoffrey has brilliant friends, and they have been packing houses from the start.

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