This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Dale Marie Muller, Roberts, Montana

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Polish avant-garde composer Henryk Gorecki set the classical music world ablaze in 1992 with his “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”, a work based on themes of maternal love and wartime loss. The CD sold a million-plus copies, unprecedented for a classical music recording. Join us this evening on Wavelengths as we celebrate the 87th anniversary of Gorecki’s birth.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music, Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern. With Ed Amend.

Photo: Henryk Górecki/

This evening on Preview! violinist Daniel Lozakovich plays music of Beethoven, as we prepare for our Beethovenfest celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday. Rob Kennedy speaks with Dr. Cory Evans, Director of the Utah State University Chamber Choir, about the Choir’s new Christmas CD, Noel. And Avi Avital plays music written for mandolin.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. With host David Jeffrey Smith.

Photo: Dr. Cory Evans/Utah State University

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music sung by the Choir of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo De Silos, and the University of California Berkeley Chamber Chorus. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Josef Haydn, and John Rutter.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music. Every Sunday morning. 8 a.m. eastern. Right after Sing For Joy. With Rob Kennedy.


On December 6 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Orazio Vecchi (1550-1605), German composer Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703), Polish composer Henryk Górecki (1933-2010) and Austrian conductor and early music specialist Nikolaus Count de la Fontaine und d’Harnoncourt-Unverzagt (1929-2016). Noted as a composer of madrigals, Signor Vecchi held various positions as an organist and director of music. Herr Bach was a cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach who thought highly of him. Henryk Górecki was one of the most successful composers of the so-called modernist genre. Nikolaus Harnoncourt blazed new paths with his historically informed performances of early and classical music.


Saturday, December 5, 2020

This afternoon, the Metropolitan Opera presents a 2002 production of Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace based on Leo Tolstoy’s 1869 novel of the same name. The cast includes Anna Netrebko, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Samuel Ramey. The curtain goes up at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Metropolitan Opera

On December 5 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762), Czech composer Vitezslav Novák (1870-1949), Spanish tenor José Carreras (1946-), and Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman (1956-). Signor Geminiani was a student of Alessandro Scarlatti and Arcangelo Corelli before setting off to England, where he spent much of his adult life as a violin virtuoso and composer. Vitezslav Novák founded what might be called the modern school of Czech composition. He studied with Antonin Dvorak. Josep Maria Carreras i Coll is a tenor known for his roles in Verdi and Puccini operas. He was also a member of the Three Tenors, along with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. Krystian Zimerman got his career as a concert pianist off to a fine start by winning the International Chopin Piano Competition in 1975.

Photos: Francesco Geminiani and Vitezslav Novák/Public Domain on; José Carreras/Gran Teatro Liceo de Barcelona/Archivo EFE; Krystian Zimerman/Kasskara/DG


Friday, December 4, 2020

Celebrate the special classical music lover in your life with a daily, weekly, or monthly announcement here on The Classical Station. With a Sustaining Membership of $100 per month, you can have a weekly on-air dedication. To find out more about day dedications and patron announcements on The Classical Station or to renew your announcement, contact Dan McHugh at 919-556-5178.

On December 4 we observe the birthdays of French composer André Campra (1660-1744) and Irish conductor and composer Sir Hamilton Harty (1879-1941). Besides being the director of music at the cathedrals in Arles, Toulouse, and Notre Dame in Paris, Monsieur Campra wrote over fifteen operas in addition to three books of cantatas. Highly regarded as an accompanist, Sir Hamilton Harty conducted the Halle Orchestra from 1920 to 1933.

Photo: André Campra and Sir Hamilton Harty/Public Domain on

Thursday, December 3, 2020

This evening the Thursday Night Opera House presents Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca. The storyline involves an opera diva who agrees to give herself to an evil police chief to save the life of her lover.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart device to “play The Classical Station.” Bob Chapman hosts.


On December 3 we observe the 82nd birthday of Uruguayan conductor and composer José Serebrier (1938-). Señor Serebrier studied with Aaron Copland and Pierre Monteux. He has conducted most of the world’s great orchestras. He is also one of the most recorded conductors of his generation.

Photo: Clive Barda

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

On December 2 we observe the birthdays of English conductor Sir John Barbirolli (1899-1970) and Greek-American soprano Maria Callas (1923-1977). Sir John Barbirolli was born Giovanni Battista Barbirolli. He anglicized his first name during while in the army in WWI, as the drill sergeant had difficulty pronouncing his name. Sir John is regarded as one of the great 20th-century conductors. La Divina was one of the most well-known and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Leonard Bernstein called her “The Bible of Opera”.

Photos: Sir John Barbirolli/CC-BY-SA-3.0 on; Maria Callas/Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, 1958

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Have you visited our Virtual Art Exhibit? Thank you to all of our listeners who sent in artwork. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page too. Dan is posting a painting daily.

On December 1 we observe the 73rd birthday of Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder (1946-). He has recorded the complete keyboard works of Josef Haydn and all the Beethoven piano sonatas.

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Monday, November 30, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. On the program are works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Franz Liszt, and Sergei Prokofiev in performances led by Andrew Litton, Eduardo Mata, and Jaap van Zweden.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. Eastern.  With Dave Sackowitz.

Photo: Lara Bierner, courtesy DSO

On November 30 we observe the birthdays of French composer Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-188) and Romanian pianist Radu Lupu (1945-). Monsieur Alkan spent most of his life in Paris where his friends and colleagues were Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin.  Although he won three prestigious piano competitions at the beginning of his career, Radu Lupu went on to be something of a recluse when it came to recording and concertizing.

Photos: 2012 photo of Radu Lupu in the Dome Hall, Hanover, Germany by Reinhold Möller on; engraving of Charles Valentin Alkan on