This Week at The Classical Station

This Week at The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, March 24, 2024

What does The Classical Station mean to you? Your fellow listeners offered these words…“I adore classical music. It’s one of the few things on the radio that I can bear…” And…“It’s my daily companion… my daily bread”

The Classical Station means a lot to you too… find your reason… and give by clicking a gift to us on our app or website, or, better yet, call 800-556-51-78 anytime.

Thank you for your support of The Classical Station.

On March 24 we observe the birthdays of American pianist Byron Janis (1928-) Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau (1962-).

Byron Janis studied with Vladimir Horowitz. He is known for his interpretation of the music of Frederic Chopin. A distinguished violinist in her own right, Ms. Dubeau and La Pietá, the ensemble which she founded in 1997, are highly-acclaimed both in Canada and worldwide.

Photos: Ms. Dubeau/; Mr. Janis, Sol Hurok, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, March 23, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2023-24 season of Saturday matinee radio broadcasts continues with two sensational artists in a richly melodic re-telling of Shakespeare’s masterpiece: Roméo et Juliette. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a live performance of Gounod’s grand opera, starring soprano Nadine Sierra and tenor Benjamin Bernheim as the passionate young lovers. They’re joined by an acclaimed ensemble cast featuring baritone Will Liverman as Mercutio, bass-baritone Alfred Walker as Friar Laurence, mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as Stéphano, and tenor Frederick Ballentine as Tybalt.

The performance begins at 1 p.m. Eastern.

On March 23 we observe the birthdays of German composer Julius Reubke (1834-1858), Austrian composer Franz Schreker (1878-1934), French composer Eugène Gigout (1844-1925), English composer Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986), English mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker (1953-), and Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki (1995-).

While Herr Reubke died very young at the age of 24, he will be forever remembered by organists for his monumental composition entitled Sonata on the 94th Psalm. Herr Schreker was known as an opera composer. A pupil of Camille Saint-Saëns, Monsieur Gigout was an organist who taught Léon Boëllmann and André Marchal among others. A prolific composer, Edmund Rubbra wrote 11 symphonies and many other works in a variety of genres. Active from the 50s to the 80s, Dame Janet Baker was highly regarded for her interpretations of baroque as well as contemporary music. Jan Lisiecki plays over a hundred recitals every year.

Photo:  Jan Lisiecki by Shin Sugino

Friday, March 22, 2024

The Metropolitan Opera presents
Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Saturday, March 23, 1 p.m. Eastern

Today we have a very special Angel Match in effect. The Friends from Greensboro are challenging us to raise $20,000 by the end of today. Once we hit that number, they will match the full amount. Put another way, if we only raise $15,000 today, it won’t work. It’s got to be the entire amount. So, spread the word! We really need your help.

If you already are a Sustaining Member, please consider increasing your monthly gift, as those increases will count too. If you are in a position to give $1200, that will be super plus you will also receive a weekly patron announcement. Gifts of any amount will help get us to $20,000.

Remember: we receive no tax dollars, no national association grants, and we have no endowment. It’s you and me keeping the Great Classical Music we love playing 24/7 just like we’ve done since 1978.

Thanks for your support. When you make your gift via our app or on the website, please put “Angel Match” in the Comments box. Or better yet, call 800-556-51-78

On March 22 we observe the birthdays of Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916), English humorist Gerard Hoffnung (1925-1959), and English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948-).

Part of the Strauss dynasty, he and his brothers Johann Strauss II and Josef Strauss composed much light music to entertain the good people of Vienna. A conductor as well as a composer, Hamish MacCunn studied briefly at the fledgling Royal College of Music. Gerard Hoffnung delighted audiences with his musical parodies and jokes. Baron Lloyd-Webber has written 13 musicals, a couple of film scores, and a requiem mass, among other works.

Photos: Lithograph of Hamish MacCunn, John Pettie, National Portrait Gallery, Wikimedia; Gerard Hoffnung, Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons;  Andrew Lloyd Webber by Tracy Nolan, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Our Spring Membership Drive 2024 ends on Sunday. We really need your help. If you are already a Sustaining Member of The Classical Station, please consider increasing your monthly contribution. An extra $5 or $10 per month adds up very quickly when combined with hundreds of Sustainers doing the same thing. If you are at a point in your life where you can make a significant financial contribution of $5,000 or $10,000, please do so. You can also do that as a Sustainer and spread your gift over twelve monthly payments.

If you have never visited our studios and transmitter in Wake Forest, North Carolina, then you probably don’t realize that our facilities are utilitarian, to put it mildly. We have never spent money on fancy furniture, travel, and so on.  We spend your contributions on the utilities to keep the transmitter operating, the royalties to keep the music playing, and state-of-the-art software to catalog and schedule our 15,000 CD music library. Furthermore, we do not spend anything on outside fundraising consultants. As you can tell, everything we do is homegrown. It’s been that way since 1978.

We are ever so proud to be listener-supported and volunteer-powered. So, call 800-556-51-78 anytime or click the Donate link on our app or here on our website. Thank you for your support.

On March 21 we observe the birthdays of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881), Belgian composer Jules Van Nuffel (1883-1953), French cellist Paul Tortelier (1914-1990), Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux (1921-1986), American violinist Joseph Silverstein (1932-2015), and American conductor Erich Kunzel (1935-2009).

A composer thoroughly versed in the skills of his trade, Bach drew from the past and looked to the future in the music which he wrote for all manner of occasions and purposes. Originally destined for a military career, Mussorgsky abandoned his commission in 1858 to devote his life to music. While cantor at Mechelen Cathedral, Father Van Nuffel worked with Flor Peeters, a noted organist, and composer. One of the great cellists of the 20th century, Monsieur Tortelier taught at several universities during his lifetime. Monsieur Grumiaux was one of the great violinists of the 20th century. Besides being a fine violinist and concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for many years, Joseph Silverstein was also a conductor and teacher. A well-known musician, Maestro Kunzel is best known for his long tenure with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Photos: Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Modest Mussorgsky, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Jules Van

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Most of our operating budget comes from our listeners, from people who love and treasure classical music, just like you. Listener support delivers Mozart and Brahms, the power of Mahler and Beethoven. and the beauty of Schubert and Haydn. Whether it’s Renaissance or Baroque music or Romantic masters or all the treasures that lie between, there would be no great classical music streaming on The Classical Station without your support.

Give securely online, on our app or by mail at The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588. Thank you for your support.

On March 20 we observe the birthday of Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997). Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was considered one of the greatest 20th-century pianists. Photo: Photo in Ann Arbor District Library, Unknown Author

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Today is Day 5 of our Spring Fund Drive. If you’re reading this blog, you already love our classical music programming. You know that when you click the Play button on our app or click Listen on our website that you will only hear classical music. No news. No talking heads. Just the music of Mozart, Bach, Brahms, and other great composers. But what you may not realize is that streaming the music online and broadcasting it from our 1200-foot tower in Wake Forest, North Carolina costs a fortune.

Our listeners pay for our $2 million annual operating expenses. We receive no federal, state, or local government funding. And that’s the way it’s been since our founding in 1978. Our business model is unusual. We never tell our listeners how much to give. Can you imagine going into the dry cleaners, and, when you asked how much it was, the clerk said “Oh, just pay whatever you like!” That’s how WCPE The Classical Station operates! If you are living on a fixed income or are a student, $5 a month might work. If you are at a time in your life where you can afford $100 a month, then give that. How much you donate to preserve and protect the great classical music you love so much is entirely up to you.

Give securely online or via our app. Or call us anytime at 800-556-5178. Don’t forget to look over our Thank You Gifts! Thank you for your support!

On March 19 we observe the birthdays of Korean cellist Myung-Wha Chung (1944-), King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656), and German composer Max Reger (1873-1916).

After studying with Leonard Rose at The Julliard School, Myung-Wha Chung has gone on to an active performing career. She is a professor of cello at The Mannes College of Music in New York. King John ruled the Portuguese empire at its zenith. He was also a patron of the arts and a gifted composer. A prolific composer, Herr Reger’s music is familiar, and indeed terrifying, to organists.

Photos: Portrait of King John IV of Portugal, Unknown Author, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons; Myung-Wha Chung, Unknown Author, Alchetron; Max Reger, Ernst Hoenisch, Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg,

Monday, March 18, 2024

A field of white wild narcissus against green hills in Umbria, in central Italy.

“The Dance of the Flowers” by Loretta Del Palazzo.

You know you can feel it when you stumble upon a great classical piece or a performer that just sounds so powerful. It’s like there’s an invisible connection, almost a sort of telepathy, between the instruments, the players, and you. There is no other genre of music that achieves this special connection quite like classical music. That’s why it enriches the lives of so many people.

The Classical Station keeps all these moments of connection alive every day. And you keep The Classical Station alive. Make your connection now and give securely online or via the mail to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, NC 27588.

Thank you for your support.

On March 18 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), and Japanese violist Nobuko Imai (1943-), and American conductor James Conlon (1950-).

Rimsky-Korsakov was one of The Mighty Handful of Russian composers that included Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, and Alexander Borodin. After studying at Julliard and Yale, Ms. Imai has gone on to have a distinguished career performing and teaching. A native of Douglaston, Queens, New York, Maestro Conlon is currently Music Director of Los Angeles Opera and Artistic Advisor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from September 2021.

Photos: Portrait of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov by Valentin Serow, Public Domain, WikiMedia Commons; Nobuko Imai by Marco Borggreve; James Conlon courtesy Cincinnati May Festival