This Week At The Classical Station

Gone In 2019

We lost many wonderful classical musicians in 2019.  This list begins with John Joubert on the top row far left and continues clockwise ending with Peter Scheier. Their performances, recordings, compositions and teaching enriched countless lives. May they rest in peace.

01/09 English composer John Joubert dies aged 91
01/17 John Mueller, influential educator and organist, has died
01/31 Jean Guillou, Organ Maestro Who Broke Traditions, Dies at 88
02/21 Dominick Argento, composer who was a modern master of opera, dies at 91
02/28 André Previn, charismatic conductor, composer and pianist, dies at 89
03/08 The conductor and composer Michael Gielen has died at 91
04/05 Marilyn Mason, Globe-Trotting Organist and Teacher, Dies at 93
04/17 Pianist Jorg Demus Dead At 90
04/21 Soprano Heather Harper Dead At 88
05/30 Jane Marshall, revered composer, dies at 94
07/25 Dutch Cellist Anner Bylsma Has Died At Age 85
09/22 Christopher Rouse, expressionistic composer who won Pulitzer Prize, dies at 70
09/30 Jessye Norman, acclaimed operatic soprano, dies at 74
10/06 Marcello Giordani, Tenor Who ‘Sang Like a God,’ Dies at 56
10/22 Raymond Leppard, Versatile Maestro Who Led Baroque Revival, Dies at 92
11/22 Sir Stephen Cleobury (1948-2019)
12/1 Conductor Mariss Jansons Dies at 76; Led Top Orchestras
12/25 German opera singer, conductor Peter Schreier dies at 84

Sunday, January 5, 2020

This week on Preview! we’ll hear cellist Gautier Capucon and pianist Yuja Wang play music of Chopin. Rob Kennedy speaks with members of the Neave Trio about their new CD, Her Voice. Pianist Angela Hewitt plays Bach and Voces 8 sings music of Samuel Barber. 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 WCPE.

Photo: Neave Trio/Mark Roemisch

This week on Wavelengths we’ll hear award-winning American composer Scott Wheeler. Based in Boston, he’s known for his theater and opera scores but is also adept in writing original and evocative orchestral works. We’ll also hear music of Osvaldo Golijov and Leo Brouwer. 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: Scott Wheeler/

This week Great Sacred Music will include choral music sung by the Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, the Choir of St. Clement’s Church, Philadelphia, and Voces8. Also on the playlist is choral music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Herbert Howells, and Alessandro Scarlatti. See What’s Playing for a detailed playlist.

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

Photo: in the Church Kilianskirche of Heilbronn, possibly one of the three kings/Wikimedia Commons

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 twentieth 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 89th 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.


Saturday, January 4, 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.

If you prefer, call 919-556-0123 anytime after 6 a.m. Eastern and tell the announcer what you would like to hear.

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-).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.


Friday, January 3, 2020

The 2019-20 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Richard Strauss’s masterwork Der Rosenkavalier. Sir Simon Rattle, music director of the London Symphony Orchestra, conducts one of Strauss’s most beloved scores. Finnish soprano Camilla Nylund makes her network broadcast debut as the enigmatic Marschallin. Magdalena Kožená sings the role of the Marschallin’s young lover Octavian. Golda Schultz, fresh from her triumphant run as Clara in the Met’s season-opening production of the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, is Sophie, the innocent girl who comes between the Marschallin and Octavian. And Günther Groissböck returns to the role of the boorish Baron Ochs, which won him tremendous acclaim in 2017. The cast also features Matthew Polenzani in the cameo role of the Italian Singer, Katharine Goeldner as Annina, and, in their network broadcast debuts, German baritone Markus Eiche as Faninal and Austrian tenor Thomas Ebenstein as Valzacchi.

Der Rosenkavalier will be heard on The Classical Station at 12:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, January 4. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina as well as on our website and apps.

Photo: Camilla Nylund as the Marschallin in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. Karen Almond/Metropolitan Opera

It’s All Request Friday! Will a piece of music you want to hear be in the stack? It will if you call 919-556-0123 or click on Music Request in the upper right hand corner of this page. We will play listener requests from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Eastern every Friday.

Photo: WCPE

Thursday, January 2, 2020

On this first broadcast of 2020, Opera House presents a pair of Broadway musicals with mostly operatic casts: West Side Story and On the Town. Set in the 1950s, West Side Story is an updated version of the Romeo and Juliet story in which teenage street gangs battle for control of the New York City neighborhood they uneasily share. The situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with a rival’s sister. On the Town is the story of three American sailors during World War II and their amorous adventures on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City.

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


Are you a Sustaining member of The Classical Station? If you are, thank you! You are enjoying convenient, automatic, ongoing monthly contributions which you can change or stop at any time. Becoming a Sustaining Member is an easy way to increase the power of your support and put more of your dollars into the great classical music you love.

As a Sustaining Member, you will:

  • Enjoy uninterrupted membership status at The Classical Station.
  • Save the station money spent on postage, paper and administrative costs.
  • Utilize an eco-friendly payment option which allows us to cut down on renewal mailings.
  • Provide The Classical Station with a steady and reliable stream of income which allows us to plan for a sustainable future.

Here’s how a Sustaining Membership works: Your monthly contribution is deducted automatically from the account of your choice on the same day each month until you tell us to stop. You can make changes or cancel your Sustaining Membership at any time.

To become a Sustaining Member, visit our Donation Page. Or call 800-556-5178 anytime. A member of staff will be happy to take down your information and instructions, as well answer any questions you may have. Don’t forget to take a Thank You Gift or designate 10% of your Sustaining Membership to the Education Fund if you prefer. Thank you for being a Sustaining Member!

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.

Photos: David Shifrin/; others:

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 was an amazing year here at The Classical Station. That’s entirely because of your support. We simply could not do this without you.

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

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.


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

On December 31 we observe the birthdays of Russian-born American violinist Nathan Milstein (1904-1992) and American composer Jennifer Higdon (1962-). Milstein was considered on of the great violinists of the 20th century. Dr. Higdon is the Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition Studies at The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia.


Monday, December 30, 2019

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony shines the spotlight on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. We’ll hear music of Peter Tchaikovsky, Jean Sibelius and Bedřich Smetanain performances led by Vernon Handley, Libor Pešek and chief conductor Vasily Petrenko. 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.


On December 30 we observe the birthdays of Russian composer Dmitry Kabalevsky (1904-1987), English conductor Sir David Willcocks (1919-2015), and American composer Nancy van de Vate (1930-). Besides being a composer of some note in Soviet Russia, Kabalevsky wrote music for children in an effort to connect them with serious music. Sir David Willcocks was one of the most respected and influential choral conductors of the 20th century. His seventeen years (1957-1974) as music director of King’s College Choir, Cambridge, inspired choirs and choral directors worldwide. A prolific composer, New Jersey native Nancy van de Vate is a resident of Vienna where she teaches composition at the Institute for European Studies.