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

Join WXXI Classical host Mona Seghatoleslami at Granite Mills Park in High Falls for Hochstein at High Falls, a free lunchtime concert series, hosted by WXXI, The Hochstein School, and the High Falls Business Association. Mona welcomes a new band to the park every Thursday in August. Please note: This is a live concert series, and will not be broadcast on WXXI radio.

Throughout the pandemic, musicians and artists in Rochester have done so much to keep us all connected, comforted, and inspired while also facing so many challenges of their own. Even as live, in-person music is becoming a more regular part of more people's lives,  I was particularly touched by this virtual choir performance that the Mount Hope World Singers have just released online. Here is their performance of "Umi Sono Ai" by Kousaku Dan, as arranged by Rachel Stenson, with some more about the ensemble and this project from their artistic director Annika Bentley and stage manager Kristen MacKay. ~Mona

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. on WXXI Classical 91.5/90.3.

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.

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