Classical 91.5

Ruth Phinney

Classical 91.5 and Reachout Radio Program Director

Ruth began working for WXXI in 1982 as the radio division secretary after working as a music teacher in several local districts.  Trained as a classical musician, she was the perfect match for creating program listings for the monthly program guide and working with the radio hosts. As she began to learn the business of "radio," she took on the job of managing what is now WXXI Reachout Radio, and later to manage both Reachout Radio and Classical 91.5.

Today she sets the strategic goals and programs for Classical 91.5 and works nationally with Classical Music Rising, a collaborative project of leading classical stations to shape the future of classical music radio as the field confronts evolution in delivery across multiple broadcast and digital platforms, demographic and cultural change, and significant disruption throughout the music industry.

Ways to Connect

Daily 12/10-12/17 approximately 12:56-1:05pm

The Jewish holiday of Chanukah – the Festival of Lights – is celebrated over the course of eight nights. In a series of radio vignettes called The Eight Nights of Chanukah, WQXR’s Naomi Lewin tells the stories, and talks about the customs of the holiday, including the Chanukah miracle, lighting the menorah, traditional foods, and why Chanukah is so hard to spell. Each of The Eight Nights of Chanukah also contains music for the holiday.

Scott Suchman

In additional to several festival performances, this program includes the premiere of award-winning composer Scott Perkins' new work, commissioned especially for the congregation and musicians of Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY.  Here's what Third Presbyterian's Music Director Peter DuBois said about the work.

This week we hear from the Dorian Wind Quintet, the Geneva Music Festival, an edgy piece by new music ensemble fivebyfive (pictured here), and selections from "The Panther and the Rose" concert by Pegasus Early Music - a concert that was recorded in an empty church just as the pandemic was beginning.  Here is what Deb Fox said about that concert.

Episode #20-48

11/28    In the Kitchen  Songs set in the living room? Sure. The bedroom? Definitely. But the kitchen, too? You bet. Attitudes toward women, sex, and marriage were changing, but the idea of domesticity persisted with the rise of the suburbs and the Flapper’s desire to settle down in the kitchen.

This week on Concierto Andrés Villamíl plays Colombian guitar music, and the Spanish brother and sister act, José and Amparo Iturbi, perform a concerto by Mozart. Frank Dominguez is your host.

Description in Spanish...
Esta semana en Concierto Andrés Villamíl toca música de guitarra colombiana, y el equipo de hermano y hermana españoles, José y Amparo Iturbi, interpreta Mozart. Frank Dominguez es tu anfitrión.

One of WXXI's (recent) Community Advisory Board Members and lover of classical music, shared Alex Ross' September 14, 2020 New Yorker article with me, titled Black Scholars Confront White Supremacy in Classical Music. It is long; it is deep; it gives perspective; it challenges; it enlightens; it is thought-provoking, and so much more.  As we face the challenges of race, diversity, equity and inclusion, I will not make a personal statement about this article - I will simply challenge you to read it and think about it.

Pipedreams celebrates Beethoven's 250 as well as festive seasonal music from many lands and right here at home.

Episode #2047

11/21    Women on the Edge Most of these songs feature a woman speaking for herself. Sometimes she faces things and sometimes she faces things down. Sometimes she persists and sometimes endures. On the edge of a new world, that is, as standards of romantic behavior were changing. So much for the image of women as passive and polite.


This week your host Frank Dominguez shares Three Improvisations by the Catalan Isaac Albeniz, as played by the composer himself captured on a reproducing piano.

Description in Spanish...
Esta semana tu anfitrión Frank Domínguez comparte Tres Improvisaciones por el catalán Isaac Albéniz, interpretado por el propio compositor capturado en un piano que reproduce su técnica.

Episode #2046

11/14    Early Cole Porter Cole Porter dropped out of Harvard Law School to write songs for Broadway musicals. He failed so utterly that he fled to Paris, where he spent much of the next decade. When he returned, he was ready for success. His first four shows after he returned were hits, and he was on his way to becoming what we think of when we hear his name.