Classical 91.5

Special Programs/Mini Series

Throughout the year Classical 91.5 will present a number of special programs or mini-series that are not a part of our regular broadcast schedule.  Come back to this page on a regular basis to find out about these special programs.

Ways to Connect

In recognition of Juneteenth or Freedom Day, (a commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved people in the US.), the eight-member, male, a cappella vocal ensemble Cantus, presents a one-hour special of music composed by black artists, primarily the song cycle Songs of the Seasons by Margaret Bonds, based on a set of four poems by Langston Hughes. Andrea Blain hosts.

6/20      In celebration of Father’s Day, the eight-member, male, a cappella vocal ensemble Cantus shares music recorded live in concert, focusing on the idea of masculinity in our society.  Steve Seel hosts.

This special focuses on songs from the home front to the foxholes of World War II by some of America's greatest composers and lyricists -- songs that evoke nostalgia, longing for home and the safety of loved ones fighting and working for our country.

Regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of classical sacred music, Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew to music, and was first performed in 1727 on Good Friday at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. Friday, April 2nd at 8:00pm.

Written in 1724, J. S. Bach's St. John Passion is part of the German Lutheran passion-oratorio tradition.  The passion narrative from the Gospel of John is recounted by the Evangelist (narrator), Jesus, Peter, Pilate and various servants.  In this performance, recorded at Asbury First United Methodist Church in March 2019, Rochester's chamber choir VOICES performs with soloists and orchestra, all under the direction of Dr. William Weinert.  Ruth Phinney is your host.

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.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent a lifetime championing her two passions: equal rights and classical music, often referencing the similarities between the courtroom and the concert hall. From trailblazing jurist, cultural and feminist icon, and passionate classical music admirer, hear stories and memories of the Notorious RBG and her reverence in the legal and opera worlds as told by family and friends in A More Perfect Union: A Musical Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg Mon 3/8/21 @ 8pm.

Recognizing the significant influence and contributions of Afro Americans to classical music through the lens of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States.  As a strong advocate for the diversification of classical music and the advancement of Black musicians in the field, host and professional bassoonist Garrett McQueen has used his platforms on local, national, and international airwaves to promote Black artistry in classical music.

On the birth anniversary of internationally acclaimed opera singer Leontyne Price, we bring you a collection of powerful songs, stories and interviews with some of today’s most acclaimed Black Artists and Scholars. This program was curated with the intent of creating awareness around the African American musical past, while inspiring listeners to cling to the hopefulness of our musical future together as every voice is heard and celebrated.

GRCC Virtual Prism Concert
Wednesday, February 17th at 3:00pm

Every other February, the Greater Rochester Choral Consortium (GRCC), a group of 28 member ensembles, presents a PRISM-style concert in Kodak Hall. In a PRISM-style concert, a number of ensembles perform in uninterrupted succession from different locations around the concert hall. Since the 2021 Prism concert will not happen, WXXI presents an encore of a virtual concert with recorded selections from many of the member ensembles. The program is hosted by Dan McInerney, treasurer of the GRCC Board, and journalist Norma Holland, who was to be this year’s Master of Ceremonies.