This Week at The Classical Station



This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy


Sunday, January 7, 2024

This morning Great Sacred Music includes performances by the Holland Boys Choir, the Prague Madrigalists, and organist James David Christie.

You’ll hear works by Felix Mendelssohn, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, J. S. Bach, and many more.

Great Sacred Music. 8 a.m. Right after Sing for Joy. With host Mick Anderson.

On January 7 we observe the birthdays of German conductor Günter Wand (1912-2002), French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), French flute virtuoso Jean-Pierre Rampal (1922-2000), and English violinist and conductor Iona Brown (1941-2004).

A largely self-taught conductor, Herr Wand directed the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1982-1990. Monsieur Poulenc was one of the group of French composers known as Les Six. The son of a professional flutist, Monsieur Rampal’s name became synonymous with the flute in the 20th century. His recordings and his presence on the concert stage were ubiquitous. Ms. Brown was associated with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields from 1964-1980 as a leader, soloist, and director.

Photos: Günter Wand, Author Unknown; Francis Poulenc,; Jean-Pierre Rampal,,CC BY-SA 2.0; Iona Brown,

Saturday, January 6, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera begins a New Year of Saturday matinee broadcasts with Giuseppe Verdi’s thrilling early opera Nabucco. Baritone George Gagnidze stars in the title role as the tyrannical King of Babylon who proclaims himself a god. Soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska is Nabucco’s daughter Abagaille, driven by jealousy to claim the throne for herself. Bass Dmitry Belosselskiy is Zaccaria, the high priest of the Israelites, and mezzo-soprano Maria Barakova and tenor SeokJong Baek are Fenena and Ismaele, whose love transcends politics and religion. Daniele Callegari conducts the Met orchestra and chorus in the opera that lifted the young Verdi to international fame.

The curtain goes up at 1 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

On January 6 we observe the birthdays of four composers: Giuseppe SammartiniGiuseppe MartucciAlexander Scriabin, and Max Bruch.

Born in Milan, Italy, Giuseppe Francesco Gaspare Melchiorre Baldassare Sammartini spent most of his professional life in London. He left us over 100 works. While primarily a composer, Signor Martucci was also a conductor. He introduced the music of Richard Wagner to Italian audiences. A native of Moscow, Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin studied at the Moscow Conservatory. He wrote much music for the piano and indeed recorded over a dozen of his compositions on piano rolls. Born in Cologne, Germany, Max Karl August Bruch is perhaps best-known to 21st-century listeners for his Scottish Fantasy and the Violin Concerto No. in G minor.

Photos: Giuseppe Sammartini, portrait by Donino Riccardi, Public Domain on; Giuseppe Martucci, Public Domain on; Alexander Scriabin, Unknown Author; Max Bruch on

Friday, January 5, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco
Saturday, January 6 at 1 p.m. Eastern

On January 5 we observe the birthdays of Italian pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920-1995), German pianist Alfred Brendel (1931-), and Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini (1942-).

Signor Michelangeli was one of the great pianists of the 20th century. He taught Maurizio Pollini and Martha Argerich. One of the great pianists of our time, Alfred Brendel is renowned for his Beethoven performances and recordings. Happy 90th birthday, Herr Brendel! Signor Pollini is highly regarded for his interpretation of piano music, especially that of late 20th and early 21st-century composers such as Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Photos: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Author Unknown, Last FM; Alfred Brendel, CC 2.0 on; Maurizio Pollini, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Thursday, January 4, 2024

This evening, the Thursday Night Opera House presents Giacchino Rossini’s opera La Cenerentola. Rossini’s setting of this universal tale about Cinderella (Larmore) trying to find her true love is filled with challenging music that complements the mezzo-soprano’s bright, beautiful voice.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

Today we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736), Czech composer Josef Suk (1874-1935), and American mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry (1937-2023).

While Signor Pergolesi composed operas, it is his sacred work Stabat Mater which is most performed these days. Josef Suk wrote chamber music. Lots of it. He also married Antonin Dvorak’s daughter. Ms. Bumbry studied at the Boston University College of Fine Arts and Northwestern University. During her career, she appeared in major opera houses throughout the world. She died on May 7, 2023, in Vienna, Austria.

Photo: Grace Bumbry, Federal Government, Public Domain on

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Join George Leef during Classical Café between 11 a.m. and 12 noon this morning for your chance to win the Classical Station’s ticket giveaway. We’ll be offering a pair of tickets courtesy of Halle Cultural Arts Center, presenting Rachmaninoff’s 150th Birthday Celebration & Friends featuring pianist, Solomon Eichner.  The performance is on this coming  Sunday, January 7th at 3 p.m.

When you give $200 or more to The Classical Station, you can request a Day Dedication as your Thank You Gift. We will run a short announcement written by you four times on the day you choose. Many listeners use a Day Dedication to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and memorials of those special to them.

Contact our Membership Department at 800-556-5178 for more information about setting up a Day Dedication. Thank you for supporting The Classical Station.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The Classical Station’s mission is to make Great Classical Music available at all times to people everywhere. Our music library contains over 10,000 compact disks of Great Classical Music. Our live announcers at all hours provide a relaxed and comfortable, yet informative listening environment focused on your enjoyment.

The Classical Station is listener-supported and relies on gifts like yours to keep classical music available at all times. Donate your vehicle today and help keep the music you love on air. Your gift qualifies for a tax deduction too!

Making a car donation is EASY! It’s as easy as filling out the online vehicle donation form or picking up a phone and speaking to a live Donor Support Representative.

If you have any questions just call one of our friendly Donor Support Representatives toll-free at 877-WCPE-872 (877-927-3872) seven days a week. We accept all types of vehicles:

We accept all types of vehicles: cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, trailers, campers and more!

On January 2 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Mili Balakirev (1837-1910), English composer Sir Michael Tippett (1905-1998), and American clarinetist David Shifrin (1950-).

Balakirev influenced a generation of Russian composers with his compositional techniques and nationalistic bent. A life-long pacifist, Sir Michael Tippett is perhaps best known for A Child of Our Time, which was the composer’s reaction to the horror of Kristallnacht. Mr. Shifrin has served as principal clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu and Dallas symphonies, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony.

Photo: Sir Michael Tippett, Unknown Author, Schott & Co., Fair Use,




Monday, January 1, 2024
New Year’s Day

The January edition of My Life in Music will feature excerpts from past editions of My Life in Music. Tara Lynn began My Life in Music in 2012. So, with over 120 editions of the program to choose from, I decided to feature five distinguished musicians who are no longer with us.

We will hear Jeanne Lamon, Lynn Harrell, Paul Bryan,  George Crumb, and Sir Stephen Cleobury talk about their lives in music.

Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Thank you for making our End Of Year Fund Drive so successful! It was wonderful hearing from so many of you.

Happy New Year from the staff and volunteers of The Classical Station!