This Week At The Classical Station

“Dogwood Blossoms” by Helen Tsui from our Virtual Art Exhibit

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Renée Fleming and Yannick Nézet-Séguin open Preview! this evening with a performance of Caroline Shaw’s Aurora Borealis. Caleb Gardner speaks with Associate Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony, Michelle Di Russo about her work with the orchestra and her organization Girls Who Conduct.

Preview! brings you new releases and local arts news every Sunday at 6 p.m.

Our guest on the March edition of My Life In Music is the Music Director Designate of the North Carolina Symphony, Carlos Miguel Prieto. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. Ticket information for their staged opera, Orpheus and Eurydice, on March 25, is available at

Join Caleb Gardner for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Choir of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Indianapolis, His Majestie’s Clerkes, and Commotio. Also on the playlist is music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Herbert Howells, and James Whitbourn.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music. Every Sunday morning. 8 a.m. Eastern.

On March 12 we observe the birthdays of English composer Thomas Arne (1710-1778) and French composer Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911).

Thomas Arne is best known for Rule Britannia! and God Save The Queen. Monsieur Guilmant was Organiste Titulaire de l’Église de la Trinité in Paris from 1871-1901. He also was Professor of Organ at the Paris Conservatoire.

Photo: Portrait of Thomas Arne by Robert Dunkarton, National Portrait Gallery, Public Domain, WikiMedia Commons; Photo of Alexandre Guilmant by A. Dupont, Public Domain, WikiMedia Commons

Saturday, March 11, 2023

La Traviata is an opera in three acts by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. It is based on the novel “La Dame aux Camélias” by Alexandre Dumas fils, which tells the story of a Parisian courtesan named Marguerite Gautier who falls in love with a young nobleman, Alfredo Germont. Verdi was commissioned to write the opera in 1852 by the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, but the premiere was delayed due to censorship issues. The opera finally premiered in 1853 and was initially met with mixed reviews, but it quickly became popular and has since become one of the most beloved operas in the world.

The character of Violetta, the opera’s protagonist, is one of the most iconic roles in opera. She is a tragic figure who sacrifices her own happiness for the sake of the man she loves, only to be betrayed and ultimately die of tuberculosis. The opera is known for its beautiful arias, including “Sempre libera,” “Addio del passato,” and “Di Provenza il mar.”

La Traviata is often seen as a masterpiece of Romantic opera, with its emphasis on intense emotion and vivid storytelling. It continues to be performed around the world today and remains one of Verdi’s most beloved works.          Source: ChatGPT

Join us for the Metropolitan Opera’s live broadcast of La Traviata at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Ken Howard, Metropolitan Opera

Today we observe the birthday of Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). Piazzolla studied with Nadia Boulanger and was well-known for infusing the traditional tango with classical music and jazz to create a form he called nuevo tango.

Photo: Astor Piazzolla in 1971 by Galego, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, March 10, 2023

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Saturday, March 11, 1 p.m. Eastern


Looking for classical music resources for the young people in your life? ChatGPT suggests the following:

The Keyboard

  • Carnegie Hall’s Music Educators Toolbox: This website offers a wide range of resources, lesson plans, and educational tools for teaching classical music to children, including information about composers, musical styles, and historical periods.
  • Classics for Kids: This website features a collection of classical music resources and games designed specifically for children, including composer biographies, interactive listening activities, and lesson plans.
  • NPR’s From the Top: This podcast and radio show features performances by young classical musicians, as well as interviews and discussions about classical music.
  • The Metropolitan Opera’s Family Resources: The Met provides a variety of resources for families interested in learning more about opera and classical music, including activity books, lesson plans, and videos.
  • The New York Philharmonic’s Kidzone: This website features a variety of interactive resources and games designed to teach children about classical music, including composer biographies, music theory lessons, and instrument guides.

Our Spring 2023 Membership Drive will begin in two weeks. The point of our membership drives is to encourage listeners to become supporting members of The Classical Station. Did you know that Angels help us achieve that objective? Well, yes, they do and have done so for many years. Our Angels are amazing listeners who will match your gift to encourage you to support this unique classical music radio station that you enjoy so much.

The way it works is very simple. For example, a listener in Virginia commits $600 to the membership drive. She tells us that she will match 5 contributions of $10 per month. So, once her angel match is met and 5 new members have become Sustaining Members at $10 per month, The Classical Station garners $600 from our Angel and another $600 from the 5 listeners who have become Sustaining Members at the $10 per month level.

Can you be an Angel during our Spring 2023 Membership Drive? Here’s how to make that happen: call Tanja Greaves here at the station and let her know that you want to be an Angel with your gift of $300 or more. You can reach Tanja at 800-556-5178 or email her.

If you prefer, you can become an Angel by making your gift of $300 or more online via our secure server. Just be sure to mention that you want to be an Angel in the Comments box. Or pop a check in the mail to WCPE The Classical Station, P.O. Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588.

Thank you for inspiring other listeners to support The Classical Station. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Photo: Unknown Author, Angels Angelology

On March 10 we observe the birthdays of Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908), American composer Dudley Buck (1839-1909), Swiss composer Arthur Honegger (1892-1955), and English conductor Sir Charles Groves (1915-1992).

A virtuoso violinist whose musical prowess astounded audiences of the time, Pablo Martín Melitón de Sarasate y Navascués composed music mainly to show off his prodigious technique. A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Dudley Buck composed music, wrote several books about music, and was an organist. Although born in Switzerland, Monsieur Honegger spent most of his life in Paris, France. Sir Charles Groves spent fifteen years as director of the Royal Liverpool Orchestra.

Photos: Photo of Pablo de Sarasate, 1906, Unknown Author, Public Domain, WikiMedia Commons; Photo of Dudley Buck, Unknown Author, Library of Congress, Public Domain, WikiMedia Commons; German stamp showing Arthur Honegger, Fair Use, WikiMedia Commons; Photo of Sir Charles Groves, Unknown Author, Fair Use, Divine Art, WikiMedia Commons

Thursday, March 9, 2023

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents The Secret Garden by Lucy Simon & Marsha Norman. In this musical, Mary Lennox (Eagan), an orphaned ten-year-old girl, brings joy to her brooding uncle (Patinkin) in Yorkshire.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern.

On March 9 we observe the birthdays of two American musicians: composer Samuel Barber (1910-1981) and conductor Thomas Schippers.

A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Samuel Barber attended the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Maestro Schippers attended the Curtis Institute and the Julliard School. He made his debut as a conductor with the New York City Opera at the age of 21. He was only 47 years old when he died.

Photos: 32¢ United States Stamp of Samuel Barber issued September 12, 1997; Photo of Thomas Schippers, Unknown Author, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, on Alchetron

Wednesday, Match 8, 2023

What’s it worth… those moments of beauty and inspiration, those pieces of music that bring awe and joy, the way that classical music connects with you like nothing else can? We must keep this music and its traditions  alive. The best way to make it possible is by making a donation so that classical music continues to be freely available to everyone – on the radio, over our computers, on our phones.

Do your part to make sure your next moment of inspiration happens right here at The Classical Station. Give securely online, via our app, or call 800-556-5178 anytime. Thank you for your support.

Photo: Unknown Author, Blue Diamond Gallery

On March 8 we observe the birthdays of German composer Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788), American composer Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), and Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero (1944-).

The second son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach, Herr Bach wrote music that bridged the baroque style in which his father wrote and the classical style which followed. As a sidebar, this radio station has the call letters WCPE. That was not by design, but sheer luck, as the FCC assigns call letters arbitrarily. Naturally, we couldn’t have been happier with the assigned call letters and their association with Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach. A native of Somerville, Massachusetts, Alan Vaness Chakmakjian was one of the 20th-century’s most prolific composers with over 500 works to his credit. Señor Romero has appeared with most of the world’s great orchestras as a soloist. This legendary musician comes from a family of brilliant guitarists which we collectively refer to as The Romeros.

Photos: Portrait of C.P.E. Bach by Franz Conrad Löhr, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Alan Hovhaness by George Ruhe; Photo of Pepe Romero by Antón Goiri

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

When your destination is The Classical Station, you’re on a journey whose goal is to enrich, to excite, to inspire, to relax. The strings, the keyboards, the brass, the percussion, the voices – classical is music for thinkers, for explorers, for people who seek a deeper and richer experience in life. But the music doesn’t play for free. It’s funded by the people who listen – by people who want the door to inspiration to always be open. It’s funded by YOU.

Put a down payment on your next journey now with your donation to The Classical Station. Give securely online, via our app, via the mail to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588, or call us anytime. 800-556-5178.

On March 7 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Tomaso Vitali (1663-1745), French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), and American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves (1964-).

Signor Vitali was a violinist and composer who is perhaps best-known for his Chaconne in G minor for Violin. Monsieur Ravel is widely considered France’s greatest 20th-century composer. Ms. Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995. She has sung in most of the world’s great opera houses.

Photos: Tomaso Vitali, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Maurice Ravel, Unknown Author, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Ms. Graves, Devon Cass

Monday, March 6, 2023

This evening, Monday Night at the Symphony features Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, which was founded in 1979. The program includes music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Henry Purcell, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-George, and more, conducted by Bruno Weil, Elisa Citterio, and Tafelmusik’s founder, the late Jeanne Lamon.

Tell your smart device to “Play The Classical Station” at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Our guest on the March edition of My Life In Music is the Music Director Designate of the North Carolina Symphony, Carlos Miguel Prieto. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. Ticket information for their staged opera, Orpheus and Eurydice, on March 25, is available at

Join Caleb Gardner for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

On March 6 we observe the birthdays of three conductors and an opera star: American conductors Lorin Maazel (1930-2014), Julius Rudel (1921-2014) Sara Caldwell (1924-2006)New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (1944-), and Yannick Nézet-Séguin (1975-)

Maestra Caldwell founded the Opera Company of Boston in 1957. She staged over 75 operas between 1957 and 1991. Maestro Rudel was notably affiliated with the New York City Opera from 1944-1979. Maestro Maazel was music director of several orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa began her singing career as a pop star and nightclub entertainer. She has sung on most of the world’s great opera stages. Maestro Nézet-Séguin is the music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia.

Photos: Lorin Maazel by Bill Bernstein; Julius Rudel, Unknown Author, courtesy of the artist); Sara Caldwell, Unknown Author, use of this image may qualify as fair use under the Copyright law of the United States, Wikimedia Commons; Photo of Kiri Te Kanawa by John Swannell; Photo of Yannick Nézet-Séguin by Hans van Woerde