Classical 91.5

Mona Seghatoleslami

Afternoon host

Mona Seghatoleslami is the host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5 FM weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. She also hosts the lunchtime concert series Live From Hochstein Wednesdays at 12:10 p.m., interviews musicians, produces special programs, and works on any project she can find that helps connect people and music in our community through WXXI.

Mona is originally from New Jersey; she ventured out to the Midwest for college, where she studied viola at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. She got her start in radio at WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana while in grad school studying musicology and library science at Indiana University. She also spent a few years as a radio announcer and producer in West (by God) Virginia, where she also wrote for the Charleston Gazette and taught American music at West Virginia State University.

When she’s not on the radio, you can find Mona attending concerts and movies, playing viola in community orchestras, occasionally strumming the ukulele, riding her bike everywhere, and reading as much as she can – especially The New Yorker and sci-fi novels. She also books the bands for one of the coolest live music venues in Rochester – The Little Theatre Café.

Ways to Connect

The Live from Hochstein spring concert series will be a hybrid of special encore programs and several live programs, airing exclusively on WXXI Classical 91.5/90.3 FM and streaming at wxxiclassical.org (no live audience in the hall*). The broadcasts will start Wednesday, March 24, 2021, from 12:10–12:50 pm. You can also hear an encore broadcast of Live from Hochstein later the same day at 10 p.m.

Women who composed during the 17th and 18th centuries included courtesans and courtiers, nuns and entrepreneurs. Their ranks included Francesca Caccini, Isabella Leonarda, Barbara Strozzi, and Elizabeth Claude Jacquet de la Guerre.

Find out more about these composers and hear their music in the program “A Woman’s World: Women Composers of the Baroque” featuring performances from a concert by Pegasus Early Music, recorded at Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester by Alembic Productions

Hosted by WXXI's Mona Seghatoleslami, A Woman's World: Women Composers of the Baroque airs Monday, March 8, 2021 at noon on Classical 91.5.

It’s difficult for composer Jaap Nico Hamburger to explain most of what goes into writing his music: it happens quickly, he doesn’t sketch or work things out on the piano, and he writes directly into a full score in about as much time as it takes to perform the piece. 

He is frequently inspired by ideas he finds when reading, and then he often starts with a visual, architectural image of the music before writing down what is already a fully conceived piece of music. 

WXXI Classical 91.5 Presents...Following the Ninth, a documentary exploring the meaning, mystery, and global impact of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, as a virtual event in partnership with The Little Theatre.

The Live from Hochstein fall concert series airs exclusively on WXXI Classical 91.5/90.3 FM and streaming at wxxiclassical.org (no live audience in the hall*) will now begin on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, from 12:10–12:50 pm.  Performances on the five-concert series feature Hochstein students, faculty members, and RPO musicians. One concert features all American composers, and another takes us on a trip to different parts of the world. The series continues through Wednesday, December 9th.  You can also hear an encore broadcast of Live from Hochstein later the same day at 10 p.m. on WXXI Classical 91.5/90.3.

Join Classical 91.5 and WXXI for a special 20-minute sneak preview of the hour-long documentary, Harbor from the Holocaust, followed by a discussion at the Virtual Little Theatre.  The film features a musical score by Composer Chad Cannon and performances by traditional Chinese guzheng player Bei Bei Monter and cellist Yo Yo Ma. 

Sheridan Paige Photography

Violinist Epongue Ekille from Rochester is one of the people calling for a greater recognition of Black musicians’ contributions to classical music. She shares her experiences and some listening recommendations.

Make Music Rochester is typically a live, free musical celebration on June 21 with concerts in a variety of spaces throughout the city. In 2020, they are going virtual, with opportunities for you to perform and to listen.

Violinist.com

“The show must go on...”

That mantra is the rallying cry of artists finding ways to create, perform, and share their work no matter what is happening around them. But Tuesday June 2nd is different: a group in the music industry is calling on performers, musicians and the industry itself to make a different choice in light of ongoing racism and violence.

The music begins with me, so I must write music that resonates with me and that I feel committed to sharing with the world. But the music comes to life through performers, teachers, students, and audiences. And when they chuckle at a funny moment or are moved by a lyrical melody, then I know I have written something meaningful.” –  Steve Danyew

Steve Danyew is a composer based here in Rochester, who also teaches courses focused on helping young musicians develop their own creative careers at the Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership.

He took the time to share a little bit of his creative process for a recent composition that awaits its premiere: a fanfare inspired by a mural on the wall of Kodak Hall in Eastman Theatre. 

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