This Week At The Classical Station

Sunday, February 23, 2020

This week on Preview! Gianandrea Noseda leads the National Symphony Orchestra in music of Copland. Rob Kennedy speaks with Scott Metcalfe, Artistic Director of the Boston-based choral ensemble, Blue Heron. Cellist Gautier Capuçon and pianist Yuja Wang play music of César Franck. See What’s Playing for a detailed playlist.

Preview! – the best in new classical recordings and arts news each Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern. Tell your smart speaker to “play The Classical Station.”

Photo: Giandrea Noseda/

This week on WAVELengths our Black History celebration includes music by American composer William Banfield, a professor at the Berklee College of Music, along with a 20th-century work by groundbreaking composer William Grant Still. We’ll also hear music of American composer Lee T. McQuillan. See What’s Playing for a detailed playlist.

Wavelengths brings you the best in contemporary classical music Sunday evenings at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Photo: Wlliam Grant Still/Carl Van Vechten

This week Great Sacred Music will include music sung by the Sixteen, Ensemble Organum, and the Belgian Radio & Television Choirs of Brussels. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Sir William Walton, and Cesar Franck.

Great Sacred Music. Beautiful choral and organ music for your Sunday morning. Right after Sing For Joy. 8 until 11 eastern. With Rob Kennedy.

Stained glass: In the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned, Gibraltar

On February 23 we observe the birthdays of English composer English composer John Blow (1649-1708), German-born English composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), and American composer Elinor Remick Warren (1900-1991). John Blow was a tinguished Baroque era composer who held the post of organist at Westminster Abbey, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and the Chapel Royal during his lifetime. A native of Germany who was educated in Italy, George F. Handel spent most of his life in his adopted country, England. He wrote over forty operas, over twenty oratorios and vast amounts of chamber music. Handel is considered the epitome of a Baroque composer. A student of Nadia Boulanger, Elinor Remick Warren composed prolifically with over 200 compositions to her credit.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

What would you like us to play for you this evening? The Saturday Evening Request Program is our ever-popular weekly request program. It’s six hours of music you have chosen. Click Music Request and let us know what you want us to play. Short works? Yes. Long works? Yes. You are the Music Director for Saturday evening. The program usually is over-subscribed by 2 p.m. on Saturday, so get your request in as soon as you can.

If you prefer, call 919-556-0123 anytime after 6 a.m. Eastern and tell the announcer what you would like to hear. Then, after 6 p.m., check What’s Playing to see when your request will be played.

The 2019-20 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Mozart’s brilliant comedy Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). The ensemble cast features Adam Plachetka in the title role of the clever valet, opposite Hanna-Elisabeth Müller as his feisty fiancée, the maid Susanna. Amanda Woodbury is the steadfast Countess Almaviva, Etienne Dupuis is her philandering husband, the Count, and Marianne Crebassa makes her network broadcast debut as the amorous pageboy Cherubino. Cornelius Meister conducts.

Le Nozze di Figaro will be heard on The Classical Station at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, February 22. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, online or on our apps. Tell your smart speaker to play “The Classical Station.”

Photo: A scene from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera.

The Classical Station is excited to announce that we are expanding the Education Fund to include an Instrument Donation program. The purpose of collecting these instruments is to make them available to students in music education programs and nonprofit organizations in North Carolina. Gently used instruments in working condition, or with minor repairs needed, are being accepted.

The following instruments are especially needed:

Trumpets, flutes, clarinets, French horns, trombones, violins, violas, cellos, saxophones, and other classical instruments for band or orchestra. Over the last ten years the Education Fund has awarded more than $80,000 in grants to numerous music education nonprofits in North Carolina. In addition to grants that support music lessons, concerts, and scholarships, we hope that the Instrument Donation program will help even more students to realize their dreams of studying music. You can help to make their dreams come true, and receive a tax receipt.

For more information about the Education Fund, or to inquire about donating your instrument, please contact Dan McHugh, Membership Director, at 919-556-5178 or by email We will arrange for pickup on a case-by-case basis.

On February 22 we observe the birthdays of German musicologist Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1749-1818), Danish composer Niels Gade (1817-1890) and French conductor Louis Auriacombe (1917-1982). Herr Forkel wrote a biography of J.S. Bach and was one of the first musicologists. A composer of eight symphonies, Niels Gade studied in Liepzig where he was friends with Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. Monsieur Auriacombe was one of the great French conductors of the 20th century.


Friday, February 21, 2020

Episode 7 of Cadenza is out. Cadenza is our fast-paced, classical news magazine offering classical music news and conversations with composers and performers, as well as excursions into the music you love. In this edition of Cadenza, Nan Pincus reports on the premiere of Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony. Early music specialist Nicholas McGegan discusses his production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s grand opera Le Temple de la Gloire. Rob Kennedy speaks with North Carolina composer Tyson Davis. Dr. Haydn Jones offers a look at the influence of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s influence on Franz Schubert. Nick Robinson takes us on another tour of his Gallery of Sounds. Cadenza is also available on our apps.


On February 21 we observe the birthdays of French composers Léo Delibes and Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), and Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia. A student of Adolph Adam at the Paris Conservatoire, Monsieur Delibes went on to compose ballets and opera. While he was ‘provisional’ organist at Eglise Saint Sulpice from 1870-1933, Monsieur Widor managed to write ten symphonies for organ, as well as teach at the Paris Conservatoire. Andrés Segovia Torres, 1st Marquis of Salobreña, is widely considered to have been one of the greatest guitar virtuosi ever.


Thursday, February 20, 2020

This week the WCPE Opera House presents an encore performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, hosted by the late Al Ruocchio (1937-2007). The original version of the opera, in two acts, had its premiere on February 17, 1904, at La Scala in Milan. It was very poorly received in large part to the late completion and inadequate time for rehearsals. Puccini revised the opera, splitting the second act into two acts and making other changes. On May 28, 1904, this version was performed in Brescia and was a huge success.

The exotic setting played a major role in the success of Butterfly. The lack of familiarity with Japanese culture served not only as a point of interest but also as a form of insulation from the play’s tragic conclusion. The story upon which the libretto is based is an amalgam of a narrative by John Luther Long, a Philadelphia lawyer, and the play derived from that narrative by playwright and theatrical producer David Belasco. Long claimed to have based his story on incidents related to him by his sister, the wife of a missionary stationed in Nagasaki.

The curtain goes up at 7 p.m. Eastern. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, streaming everywhere on our apps and online.

Photo: Photo: Ermonela Jaho as Cio-Cio San in a 2018 production of Madama Butterfly/Ken Howard, Met Opera

Music makes memories. Hearing our favorite pieces brings us back to those special times when we first heard the music of Bach or Beethoven or Brahms. We each can recall the effect that music had on us. That’s what we do here at The Classical Station. We program music which soothes you when the stress of everyday life gets to be too much. Our rousing overtures get you going during Rise and Shine in the morning. And we have been doing this since 1978 thanks to the support of thousands of listeners like you.

To make sure this marvelous legacy remains alive, please become a Sustaining Member. It’s simple to set up. Click the Donate button at the top of this page. Then choose the amount you wish to donate each month – $10, $15, $20 or whatever you decide to give. Fill in your contact information and payment information on our secure server. Don’t forget to choose a Thank You Gift while you are there. Your donation ensures that this legacy of great classical music continues to thrive here on The Classical Station. Please become a sustainer now. This classical music we play is counting on you.

On February 20 we observe the birthdays of Austrian composer Carl Czerny (1791-1857), Belgian composer Charles de Bériot (1802-1870), Scottish soprano Mary Garden (1874-1967), German-born conductor Christoph Eschenbach (1940-), English conductor Barry Wordsworth (1948-), and Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly (1953-). Besides being a composer of keyboard and chamber music, Herr Czerny was a very successful teacher. Charles Auguste de Bériot was a violinist who taught at the Brussels Conservatory. Besides being a popular opera singer in the early part of the 20th-century, Ms. Garden was in later life a talent scout for MGM. Maestro Eschenbach was chief conductor of the Houston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among the many orchestras with which he has been associated. After studying at the Royal Collge of Music with Vernon Handley, Barry Wordsworth was music director of the Royal Ballet. After making his conducting debut at La Scala, Maestro Chailly went on to earn a reputation as one of the world’s great opera conductors.


Wednesday, February 19, 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 800-556-5178 or email him.

If your vehicle – automobile, truck, boat, motorcycle, RV, or aircraft – is no longer of use to you, it can still go a long way as a donation in support of the beautiful music you love on from The Classical Station. Here’s how it works: Center for Car Donations (CFCD) manages the donations on our behalf. Call them toll-free at 1-877-927-3872 for more information and to begin the car donation process. Don’t forget to mention that The Classical Station is the recipient of your donation.

A CFCD representative will schedule a pickup that’s convenient for you, and provide you with confirmation of your donation. We will mail you a confirmation that states how much your vehicle sold for at auction. This amount is what you can claim on your itemized tax return. You also will receive a one-year subscription to our quarterly member magazine, Quarter Notes.


On February 19 we observe the birthday of Italian composer Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) and American violinist Gil Shaham (1971-). A prolific composer, Signor Boccherini composed over five hundred pieces in a variety of forms. Gil Shaham is one of the current generation of violinists most distinguished performers. He concertizes worldwide.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Join Nick Robinson during As You Like It for a special ticket giveaway! This week we’ll be offering a pair of tickets to Greensboro Symphony’s Farewell Concert. The orchestra will be performing Haydn’s Symphony No. 45, nicknamed the Farewell Symphony, Puccini’s Capriccio Sinfonico for orchestra, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Guitar Concerto at Guilford College in Greensboro on Saturday, February 22nd at 8 p.m. Listen between 2 and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19th, for a chance to win tickets to this event.

Monday, February 17, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. On the program are works by Aaron Copland and Camille Saint-Saëns, in performances led by Michael Tilson Thomas and Edo de Waart. See What’s Playing for details.

You can enjoy the concert beginning at 8 p.m. on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina and streaming everywhere online and on our apps.

Photo: SFSO

On February 17 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713), French composer Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881), English composer Sir Edward German (1862-1936), American composer Lee Hoiby (1926-2011), Welsh composer Karl Jenkins (1944-), and Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma (1934-2019). Bach and Handel both knew of Corelli’s music. Modern listeners still enjoy his concerti grossi, especially the Christmas Concerto which has been used in several films. A virtuoso violinist until he was paralyzed by a stroke, Monsieur Vieuxtemps played a very special violin, the Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesù. This same violin is currently played by violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. Sir Edward German was a prolific composer who is best remembered these days for his incidental music for plays. Madison, Wisconsin native Lee Hoiby was influenced as a composer by Giancarlo Menotti. Sir Karl Jenkins has been a very successful composer of music for commercials and film scores. Principal cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for several years, Anner Bylsma was a leading exponent of what is called the Dutch Baroque school.