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

The month begins with four more presentations by the Royal Opera.  Then on 10/31 we travel to Hamburg Germany for the Hamburg State Opera's presentation of Bellini's Norma.


Episode # 2040

10/3      Canaries Through the 1930s and into the 1940s, big bands dominated popular music, but the band singers became increasingly important. The “boy singers” handled the romantic ballads,” but the “girl singers,” otherwise known as “canaries,” saw to the rhythm tunes. Among the best of them were Martha Tilton, Helen Ward, Helen O’Connell, and Helen Forrest.

Host Edmund Stone puts the fun back in Halloween with a 3-week celebration that begins with Contemporary Chills (10/17), to a Haunted Halloween (10/24) and wrapping up the month with Fearfully Funny Halloween film music (10/31) on the big day.

This year’s Virtual BBC Proms celebrated the past, reflected on the present and explored the future, all done virtually.  We'll share the radio broadcast of the Last Night of the BBC Proms on the 10/2 broadcast of SymphonyCast.

Host Elbio Barilari share music for harp this month (10/15), perhaps performed on a harp similar to the one pictured here. This is a Paraguayan harp, hand-made in Paraguay by some of the most recognized luthiers in the country.

Travel with the Chicago Symphony to Scandanavia where we'll hear music by Sibelius, Nielsen and a traditional Danish Bridal Tune from the village of Sønderho. Don't miss the boat on 10/22.

Meet Italian composer Luigi Rossi, probably one of the greatest composers of which you have rarely, if ever heard. We'll get to know and enjoy much of his music this month performed Live in Carnegie Hall. 10/14.

Host Candice Agree takes us to Spain and Latin America where the American holiday of Halloween is now celebrated with some very spooky music played on the theremin.  Tune in on 10/26 if you dare!

Although best known for his virtuosity as a pianist, Franz Liszt was also a prolific composer, writer, and all-around music entrepreneur, who, according to once said, “Beware of missing chances; otherwise it may be altogether too late some day.”  –Franz Liszt. Don't miss your chance to learn more about Franz Liszt the week of October 19th.

We'll hear from two famed Parisian composers for the organ - Francis Poulenc and Louis Vierne, 10/4 and 10/11. Here we see the famed Notre Dame Cathedral oran in Paris.