This Week At The Classical Station

Photo: Table decoration for Christmas by Michael Osmenda on

This Week At The Classical Station

by Rob Kennedy

Sunday, December 27, 2020

This evening on Wavelengths we’ll hear music of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joseph Schwanter, a work depicting an intense sunrise at his rural New Hampshire home.
We’ll also hear music by Chinese composer Guan Xia, and from the mid 20th century, a symphony by American composer David Diamond.

Wavelengths begins at 9 p.m. Eastern. Ed Amend hosts.


Over the past year, classical musicians have found innovative ways to keep on making music even as performing and recording have become more difficult. Join us this evening for Preview! as we look back at some of the best classical releases of 2020 from artists including Simone Dinnerstein, Daniel Hope, and Ray Chen. We’ll also revisit some of this year’s best interviews.

Preview! brings you the best in new classical recordings each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. Steve Thebes hosts.

Photo: WCPE Photo Services

This morning Great Sacred Music includes music for the season sung by The Duke Vespers Ensemble, Early Music New York,  and The Sixteen. Also on the playlist is Hector Berlioz’ oratorio L’Enfance du Christ.

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

Photo: Author Unknown/Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The great opera composer Giuseppe Verdi executed several major philanthropic projects during his lifetime. He funded a hospital on the edge of his estate. Then, in an act of profound kindness, he built and endowed the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, a home for retired musicians.

Inspired by Verdi’s example? A gift through your will or other estate plan is a wonderful way to keep classical music coming to Central North Carolina and the world here on The Classical Station. As Giuseppe Verdi has inspired you, so too will your legacy gift inspire future generations. For more information about leaving a bequest to The Classical Station in your will, give Dan McHugh a call at 800-556-5178.

Photo: Unknown author

Friday. December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Classical Station!

On December 25 we observe the birthdays of English composer Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) and American conductor Louis Lane (1923-2016). Orlando Gibbons was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, where his brother Edward was the Master of the Choristers. Maestro Lane was involved with a number of American orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony.

Photos: Orlando Gibbons, Public Domain on; Louis Lane courtesy the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Bob Chapman presents Christmas Eve At The Opera House this evening at 7 p.m. On the program are the great voices of the opera world singing seasonal favorites. Tell your smart speaker to “Play The Classical Station.”

Photo: Christmas Decoration, Public Domain Pictures

On December 24 we observe the birthdays of German composer Peter Cornelius (1824-1874) and American composer Libby Larsen (1950-). Herr Cornelius wrote operas and lieder. He is best known for his song The Three Kings from Weihnachtslieder op.8. Besides being a prolific composer, Ms. Larsen co-founded what is now known as the American Composers Forum with the late Stephen Paulus.

Photos: Peter Cornelius, Public Domain on; Libby Larsen by Ann Marsden

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Have you listened to our conversation with composer Christopher Tin? He wrote Baba Yetu for the game Civilization I. Chris spoke with Rob Kennedy about his education and work as a composer. You can find this podcast together with our other interviews on the Conversations page of this website.

Photo: Alfredo Chocano

We have some special holiday programming for you today at 11 a.m. Join George Douglas for A Renaissance Christmas.

Photo: Painting of Mary with Child by Joos van Cleve, Public Domain on

On December 23 we observe the birthday of Italian conductor Claudio Scimone (1934-2018). Maestro Scimone founded I Solisti Veneti. He championed the music of several composers, in particular bringing the theatrical music of Antonio Vivaldi and Antonio Salieri to the fore.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The 11th annual edition of Lullabies and Carols airs this evening at 8 p.m. Eastern. Lullabies and Carols is an oasis of calm for you in the midst of the holiday season. Quire Cleveland, The Cathedral Singers, and the Utah State University Chamber Singers, and more sing music by John Rutter, Morten Lauridsen, and Philip Stopford. Rob Kennedy hosts. You can hear Lullabies and Carols again on  Friday, December 25 at 3 a.m. Eastern.  Here is the playlist.

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Classical Station!

Photo: Poinsettia by Frank Vincentz on

On December 22 we observe the birthdays of German composer Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787), Austrian composer Franz Schmidt (1874-1939), French-born American composer Edgard Varèse (1883-1965), and Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).

Besides being a composer, Herr Abel was a virtuoso viola da gamba player. A pianist as well as a composer, Herr Schmidt was Professor of Piano at the Imperial Academy of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna. Monsieur Varèse was prominent in using electronic and new instruments to create his music. Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini is considered by many to be the greatest composer of opera after Giuseppe Verdi. His operas La Bohème, Manon Lescaut, and Madama Butterfly are loved by audiences everywhere.

Photos: Carl Friedrich Abel, 1777 by Thomas Gainsborough; Franz Schmidt on; Edgard Varese, Public Domain on; Giacomo Puccini in Lucca, courtesy of Associazione Arte e Cultura Schivenoglia

Monday, December 21, 2020

Celebrate Christmas with The Classical Station this evening on our annual Holiday Edition of Monday Night at the Symphony. On the program is music by Camille Saint-Saëns, Peter Tchaikovsky, and Benjamin Britten, in performances by the Bach Choir of Stuttgart, the New York Philharmonic, and the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge.

The concert begins at 8 p.m.

Photo: Alina Zienowicz on Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Classical music on The Classical Station is an inspiring tradition. Played on quiet, restful evenings and during joyous, holiday festivities, truly, The Classical Station is a companion to life’s most cherished moments. Listener support makes these moments and this incredible music happen. As 2020 comes to a close, please do your part for this music that matters so much to you with an important year-end donation.

Please click our gift by clicking the Donate button at the top of the page or mail a contribution to The Classical Station, PO Box 828, Wake Forest, North Carolina 27588. You can also call us anytime at 800-556-5178 to donate. A member of staff is always on duty and will be happy to take down your information and transmit it securely to our membership department.

Photo: Author Unkown/NYC Educator

On December 21 we observe the birthdays of Czech composer Zdenêk Fibich (1850-1900), Hungarian-born British pianist András Schiff (1953-), and American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (1944-).

While not as well-known as his countrymen Antonin Dvorák or Bedrich Smetana, Zdenêk Fibich was a prolific composer who created hundreds of works in a variety of forms. Sir András Schiff is highly-regarded for his interpretations of Bach and Mozart. He has many recordings to his credit and has appeared in concert halls worldwide. Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony since 1995, Tilson Thomas established the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1987. He has conducted most of the world’s major orchestras and has over 120 recordings to his credit.

Photos: Michael Tilson Thomas/; Sir Andras Schiff  by Steve Bowbrick on; Zdenek Fibich/Author Unknown, Public Domain on