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 Song of Names is a new movie directed by François Girard (The Red Violin) about music, friendship, and memory with a mystery at its heart. This film, based on a novel by music critic Norman Lebrecht, stars Tim Roth and Clive Owen.

The Song of Names will come to Rochester starting February 7th at The Little Theatre.

100 years ago, the founders of The Hochstein School set out to provide meaningful opportunities for students to learn and express their creativity. The first students studied piano, violin, and music theory. Since then, Hochstein has expanded its offerings to include many different styles of music and dance.

We'll be highlighting stories from The Hochstein School's past and present throughout the year. Here's one from our colleagues from "What's Good Rochester" - Hochstein dance instructor Kyle Steins shares what dance means to him. 

Maya Temperley

David Temperley composes tuneful, expressive pieces in a classical mold, drawing on his experiences with chamber music and influences from the popular music he grew up listening to on the radio. He's also a music theorist who writes about rock music, including in his latest book The Musical Language of Rock

Read more about Temperley and his music in CITY Newspaper this week: "Having it Both Ways. The Music of Rochester Composer David Temperley."

You can also hear his music and story in this radio feature: 


  Classical 91.5 Presents...Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World at The Little Theatre on Saturday February 1st at 3pm. 

This high-seas adventure has a stunning and surprising score, including music by Bach, Mozart, and Boccherini -  and features Russell Crowe playing violin out at sea. 

  Classical 91.5 Presents...Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) on Saturday September 26th at 3pm at The Little Theatre.  This magical realist film based on a popular novel is a family drama, full of romance and uniquely passionate cooking, with a score by guitarist-composer Leo Brouwer. 

Classical 91.5 Presents...Following the Ninth, a documentary exploring the meaning, mystery, and global impact of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on November 21st, 3pm at The Little Theatre, followed by a discussion of the movie and the impact of Beethoven's music afterwards. 

The Empire Film and Film and Media Ensemble will get things started with live music in The Little Theatre Cafe starting at 2pm.  

Karli Cadel

In the musical Showboat, the character Joe sings about racism and inequality, as he watches how things change and stagnate along the river and in the world.

And the song where he really lays it all out there - “Ol' Man River” -  has become a beloved classic, notably performed by Paul Robeson and William Warfield…or as singer Justin Hopkins first heard it: Frank Sinatra.

Join WXXI Classical 9.15 for a special presentation of a film that traces the arc of opera singer Marian Anderson's life and her struggles against racism and poverty, Thursday December 12th at 6pm at The Little Theatre

The winners of this year’s David Hochstein Recital Competition were Andrew Guo, a Frisbee-playing violinist who edits his school newspaper, and Sam Reeder, a track-running clarinetist and mathematician who has created his own language. 

You can hear them on the radio Wednesday November 27th, at noon (and again at 10pm) as Live from Hochstein takes a break for the Thanksgiving week holiday. They were recorded in concert at The Hochstein School on May 10th 2019 by Carl Pultz of Alembic Productions.

Musical Mucha

Nov 8, 2019

"For me, the notions of painting, going to church, and music are so closely knit that often I cannot decide whether I like church for its music, or music for its place in the mystery which it accompanies." – Alphonse Mucha

“Mucha studied to be a musician, you know,” he said.

And I had to admit: I didn’t know that, nor a number a number of the other interesting things that an art historian friend shared with me on our wanderings through the Memorial Art Gallery yesterday.

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