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

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." You can hear all of that in h

Evan Meccarello founded the Hochstein Alumni Orchestra (HAO) in 2010, reuniting musicians who received training at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance. Since its debut, the HAO has played summer concerts in Perinton and Canandaigua, adding a winter concert in the Hochstein Performance Hall in 2011.

Pegasus Early Music is celebrating its 15th season, but Artistic Director Deborah Fox decided to give us a present: A Baroque Noel. In December, 2019, master lutenist Paul O'Dette took to the podium to lead a chamber choir and Baroque orchestra for an evening celebratory Christmas concert that left the audience cheering.

In each season of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, you'll find a concert called "Baroque and Blue," where more traditional fare shares the program with music on the jazzier side of the spectrum.

Photo: Tyler Boye

When Grammy Award winning guitarist Jason Vieaux performed on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series with Harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, they described him as, “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.” And that's not hyperbole.

This is a week of two large and beloved Russian works: Tchaikovsky's daunting Violin Concerto and Rachmaninov's lush Symphony No. 2. Marcelo Lehninger returns as guest conductor for your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and violinist Blake Pouliot is making his RPO debut.  Both stopped by to chat with Julia Figueras about getting through the pitfalls of the concerto, avoiding potential excesses in the symphony and, in the mix, some fashion tips.

Photo: Gerry Szymanski

Ten years ago, Pia Litak and Kathleen Suher decided to start a chamber orchestra that would present tuneful, innovative concerts. They called their new group Cordancia, and today it's better than ever. On the next Backstage Pass, Pia, Kathleen, and the group join Julia Figueras to celebrate their tin anniversary.

Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director Ward Stare cap off the celebration of suffrage and Susan B. Anthony with "The Mother of Us All," Virgil Thomson's opera with a libretto by Gertrude Stein. The production, directed by Susan Stone Li, features singers from the Eastman School of Music. Ward and Susan stopped by to talk with Julia Figueras about putting the concert together, and about the path constructed by Thomson and Stein.

Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is having a double suffrage celebration. The first of the two concerts features works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Julia Perry, and a world premiere of Gemma Peacocke's Susan B. Anthony-inspired "All on Fire." The second half of the concert is Mark Mobley's "True and Devoted," a collage of words and music featuring interviews with Rochesterian women.

Chris Van Hof came to Classical 91.5 as an Arts Leadership Intern from the Eastman School of Music.  Shortly thereafter, Chris took the reins of the afternoon hosting shift for Classical 91.5, bringing a new energy to the shift held for more than 30 years by the late Mordecai Lipshutz. 

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