Classical 91.5

On Record

Online and Podcast only, release dates vary

A collection of discussions with special guest musicians hosted by Music Director and midday host Julia Figueras. Each week during the RPO season, Julia previews the upcoming concert with the conductor and guest artist(s).

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Orli Shaham: Christian Steiner

This week, your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes a new maestro and the return of a fan favorite. Conductor David Danzmayr and pianist Orli Shaham combine forces with the RPO for a concert of two temperamentally different symphonies and a songbird's concerto. Julia Figueras sat down in our studios to talk about the pieces, programming, and the power of music for our youngest listeners in Orli's Bach Yard. 

It's a bold opening night for the new Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra season: four works of our time, never before performed by the RPO. Needless to say, the orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Ward Stare, is up to the challenge. Anchoring the program is John Adams' Scheherazade.2, a work premiered by RPO guest soloist Leila Josefowicz. Ward and Leila walk us through that piece - and the three others - and explain why playing contemporary music is important...and thrilling.

Garrett McQueen is a man of many talents: overnight host for Classical 24, creator and producer of the podcast Trilloquy, and bassoonist extraordinaire. He's in town to moderate the opening day panel discussion for the Gateways Music Festival, but found a moment or two to sit down and chat with Julia Figueras about his life path, and why Gateways is inspiring and important to him...and to us.

As has become Ward Stare's tradition, your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra closes the Philharmonics season with an opera. This year, it's Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, and Ward brought two people into our studios who have been largely responsible for shaping the production: fortepianist Kinza Tyrrell and stage director Grant Preisser. They talked to Julia Figueras about the plot, the editing, and why this opera was not a big hit when it was first performed. 

Cinema is a magic place where sound and image collide and mesh. Jazz trumpeter and Emmy Award winning composer Jeff Beal is in town to conduct EFAME  in a live score screening of The Biggest Little Farm for the One Take Film Festival. He and festival programmer Linda Moroney sat down with Julia Figueras to talk about that magic place, the beauty of documentaries, and why the Eastman School of Music became the home for the Beal Institute for Film Music and Contemporary Media.


It's been five years since Michael Francis has been in town to work with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and he's returned for a concert of just two pieces...but those pieces are mighty. In the first half, Sir William Walton's searing Symphony No. 1, with Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring Van Cliburn Gold medalist Yekwon Sunyoo in the second half. Maestro Francis stopped by to chat with Julia Figueras about the two works and the universal language of music.

Hough: Sim Canetty-Clark

Stephen Hough is in town to play the Dvorak Piano Concerto with your Rochester Phiharmonic Orchestra, a piece that musicians either love or hate.  Stephen falls on the "love" side, although it did take a little time. So he and Ward Stare (who is meeting this work for the first time) discussed with Julia Figueras why the pros outweigh the cons...with a little chat about Brahms and Richard Strauss surrounding it. And then the phone rang...

On Saturday, April 6, Feminine Fusion joins our line up at 8 PM. The show, which highlights all facets of women in classical music, is produced and hosted by Diane Jones, who is also the midday host at WCNY in Syracuse. Diane took a road trip to our studios to chat with Julia Figueras about Feminine Fusion, the quiet (and sometimes not so subtle) bias against women in the world of classical music, and her journey from executive secretary to composer and radio host.

Clara Schumann blazed a path for women in music, composing and soloing at a time when it was unheard of for women to have a professional career in that world. Yet, we still hear murmers of discontent: she was mean, she wasn't supportive of her husband Robert, she neglected her kids. This "soft misogyny," as pianist Heather O'Donnell calls it, has tainted the legacy of a great artist. 

Violinist Augustin Hadelich, a fan favorite in Rochester, is back in town to perform the Sibelius Violin Concerto with your Rochester Philhamonic Orchestra in a program that also includes Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10.  He and RPO Music Director Ward Stare sat down to talk about both pieces in depth with Julia Figueras, including Augustin explaining why he thinks he's playing it better now than he did on his CD.