This Week At The Classical Station

Sunday, March 8, 2020

This week on Preview! Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin plays music of Mozart. Rob Kennedy speaks with Dr. Zebulon Highben, Director of Chapel Music at Duke University, about Multivalence, the Chapel Choir’s upcoming Spring Concert. Violinist Virgil Boutellis-Taft plays music of Chausson and pianist Angela Hewitt plays Bach. 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: Zebulon Highben/Duke University

This week on WAVELengths we’ll feature Bulgarian-born composer Dobrinka Tabakova. Raised in London, she draws upon a rich heritage of Eastern and Western European musical traditions in her crafting her compositions. We’ll also hear music of Joan Tower and Libby Larsen as we feature modern female composers during Women’s History Month. 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: Libby Larsen

This week Great Sacred Music will include music sung by the Alsfelder Vocal Ensemble, Anonymous 4, and Magnificat. Also on the playlist is choral music by Jean Mouton, Francis Poulenc, and Herbert Howells.

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

Medieval window in Coventry Cathedral

On March 8 we observe the birthdays of German composer Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788), American composer Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), and Spanish guitarist Pepe Romero (1944-). The second son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach, Herr Bach wrote music which bridged the baroque style in which his father wrote and the classical style which followed. As a side-bar, this radio station has the call letters WCPE. That was not by design, but sheer luck, as the FCC assigns call letters arbitrarily. Naturally, we couldn’t have been happier with the assigned call letters and their association with Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach. A native of Somerville, Massachusetts, Alan Vaness Chakmakjian was one of the 20th-century’s most prolific composers with over 500 works to his credit. Señor Romero has appeared with most of the world’s great orchestras as a soloist. This legendary musician comes from a family of brilliant guitarists which we collectively refer to as The Romeros.


Saturday, February 7, 2020

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 our Spring 2020 approaches, please do your part for this music that matters so much to you. Please submit your gift by clicking the Donate button  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.


The 2019-20 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues Cosi fan tutte, Mozart’s bittersweet comedy in which love is put to the test. Nicole Car and Serena Malfi are the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, and Ben Bliss and Luca Pisaroni are their sweethearts Guglielmo and Ferrando. Heidi Stober plays the ladies’ free-spirited maid Despina, and Gerald Finley is Don Alfonso, who masterminds a scheme to test the couples. Harry Bicket conducts the performance.

Cosi fan tutte will be heard on The Classical Station at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, March 7. Listen on 89.7 FM in Central North Carolina, online or on our apps. Tell your smart speaker to “play the Classical Station.”

Serena Malfi as Dorabella, Heidi Stober as Despina, and Nicole Car as Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Photo: Richard Termine/Met Opera

On March 7 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Tomaso Vitali (1663-1745), French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), and American mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves (1964-). Signor Vitali was a violinist and composer who is perhaps best-known for his Chaconne in G minor for Violin. Monsieur Ravel is widely considered France’s greatest 20th-century composer. Ms. Graves made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995. She has sung in most of the world’s great opera houses.

Photos: Ms. Graves/Devon Cass;

Friday, March 6, 2020

Episode 8 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 première of Switched On Bach. Rob Kennedy speaks with thereminist Carolina Eyck. Dr. Haydn Jones profiles composer Bernard Herrmann. Nick Robinson takes us on another tour of his Gallery of Sounds. Composer Ilan Eshkeri talks about his score for the film The White CrowCadenza is also available on our apps and your favorite podcast platform.


On March 6 we observe the birthdays of three conductors and an opera star: American conductors Lorin Maazel (1930-2014), Julius Rudel (1921-2014) and Sara Caldwell (1924-2006), and New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (1944-). Maestra Caldwell founded the Opera Company of Boston in 1957. She staged over 75 operas between 1957 and 1991. Maestro Rudel was notably affiliated with the New York City Opera from 1944-1979. Maestro Maazel was music director of several orchestras including the New York Philharmonic. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa began her singing career as a pop star and nightclub entertainer. She has sung on most of the world’s great opera stages.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Seventeenth-century Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes is best remembered today for Don Quixote, the story of a country squire obsessed with chivalry. His magnum opus has inspired operas, ballets, concertos, songs, and a Broadway musical. This evening the WCPE Opera House, presents Jules Massenet’s Don Quichotte, whose title role was written expressly for the great Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin. It was first performed by the Opéra de Monte Carlo on February 19, 1910. As a bonus, we’ll hear Mitch Leigh’s 1965 Broadway musical The Man of La Mancha, performed by a mostly operatic cast.

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: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza by Jules David on

On March 5 we observe the birthdays of American composer Arthur Foote (1853-1937), Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), Australian French horn player Barry Tuckwell (1931-2020), and English conductor Richard Hickox (1948-2008). Arthur Foote was a prominent early 20th-century composer who was a member of the Boston Six. That informal group consisted of Foote and George Whitefield Chadwick, Amy Beach, Edward MacDowell, John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker. Heitor Villa-Lobos is synonymous with creativity in 20th-century Brazilian music. Barry Tuckwell had a well-earned reputation as one of the finest French horn players of the 20th-century. Richard Hickox was a brilliant, multifaceted conductor whose life was cut short at the young age of 60.


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Have you discovered our Conversations With Performers? In these conversations with our staff announcers Rob Kennedy, Bob Chapman, and Dan McHugh, distinguished musicians such as Stephanie Blythe, Ofra Harnoy, Yolanda Kondonassis, Lucas Meachem and many more, talk about their new recordings, their art, and much more. These musicians love what they do and are most eager to share their art with everybody. Let your family and friends know about these conversations which they can listen to or download anytime. You can also enjoy these conversations on our apps and on your favorite podcast platform.

On March 4 we observe the birthdays of Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) and Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink (1929-). Best known to modern audiences for The Four Seasons and his concerti for various instruments, Padre Vivaldi also composed forty operas and many sacred works. Bernard Johan Herman Haitink was chief conductor or music director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (1967-1979), Glyndebourne Opera (1978-1988), The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (1987-2002), Staatskapelle Dresden (2002-2004), and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1995-2004). We wish him a very happy ninety-first birthday!


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Our Spring 2020 Membership Drive will begin on March 20. The point of our membership drives is to encourage listeners to become supporting members of The Classical Station. Did you know that Angels help us achieve that objective? Well, yes, they do and have done so for many years. Our Angels are amazing listeners who will match your gift to encourage you to support this unique classical music radio station which you enjoy so much.

The way it works is very simple. For example, a listener in Virginia commits $600 to the membership drive. She tells us that she will match 5 contributions of $10 per month. So, once her angel match is met and 5 new members have become Sustaining Members at $10 per month, The Classical Station garners $600 from our Angel and another $600 from the 5 listeners who have become Sustaining Members at the $10 per month level.

Can you be an Angel during our Spring 2020 Membership Drive? Here’s how to make that happen: call Jane O’Connor here at the station and let her know that you want to be an Angel with your gift of $300 or more. You can reach Jane at 800-556-5178 or email her.

If you prefer, you can become an Angel by making your gift of $300 or more online via our secure server. Just be sure mention that you want to be an Angel in the Comments box. Thank you for inspiring other listeners to support The Classical Station. Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Monday, March 2, 2020

This evening Monday Night at the Symphony features the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. We’ll hear music of Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, on the anniversary of his birth, and we’ll remember Mariss Jansons, who led the orchestra from 2003 until his death in November 2019. 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.


American artist agent Andrew Ousley is our guest on the March edition of My Life In Music. The founder and principal of Unison Media, Andrew has established it as one of the top public relations & marketing firms for classical music, opera and the performing arts. Join Rob Kennedy for My Life In Music this evening at 7 p.m. eastern. My Life In Music is made possible by our listeners and by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.

On March 2 we observe the birthdays of Czech composer Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884), German-born American composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950), and Spanish guitarist Celedonio Romero (1913-1996). Bedřich Smetana is widely considered to be the father of Czech music. A prolific composer, Smetana wrote operas, some chamber music, and works for piano and orchestra. Herr Weill is best known for his ballad Mack the Knife from his The Three Penny Opera. Señor Romero was part of the famous guitar quartet The Romeros. He taught guitarist Christopher Parkening.


Masthead photo: Dale Marie Muller