George Leef

George grew up in the suburbs of Milwaukee, WI. His first serious encounter with music came when his parents bought a piano and said that he and his sisters would take lessons. Practicing the piano was not what he wanted to do at 10 years of age and complained so much that after a year, his parents let him stop after one year.

About two years later, however, George discovered an interesting LP among his parents’ collection of mostly Broadway show albums—Scheherazade by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff. When he put the record on, the sounds captivated him. Soon, he was listening regularly to the classical station in Milwaukee, learning about all the great composers and performers. He is still listening and learning.

George’s first live concert was in 1965 when he got to hear Van Cliburn play the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony. It was an unforgettable evening.

From 1980 to 1989, George was a college professor, teaching economics and business law. After that, he worked in the Michigan legislature until taking a position with a think tank in Raleigh to focus on higher education issues, a job he still holds.

Upon moving to Raleigh in 1999, George was delighted to discover WCPE. He began doing volunteer work at the station in 2021 and announcing in 2022. Since the summer of 2023, he has hosted Classical Café.

George likes tennis and golf. He has written two books. He and his wife dote on their two little Maltese dogs.