Winter Highlights

By William Woltz

The Metropolitan Opera -Saturday, December 1

A new season of live broadcasts begins December 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET with a performance of Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele.

Chanukah (Hanukkah) - Begins at sunset Sunday, December 2

We’ll celebrate the beginning of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, with special music on December 2 at 6:00 p.m., and we will have additional seasonal selections throughout the eight-day observance.

Beethovenfest -December 14–16

It truly is something to ponder, how the troubled mind of Ludwig van Beethoven could create music that so beautifully celebrates the best of humanity. It’s even more remarkable to consider that the increasingly deaf composer heard his greatest works only in the concert hall of his own imagination. Each year WCPE spends three days in tribute to this lonely man from Bonn, playing his symphonies, sonatas, concertos, and more, culminating in the glorious Ninth Symphony on the presumed day of his birth.

Christmas - December 25

Throughout the month of December, we’ll celebrate this most wonderful season with music embracing the joy, mystery, and awe of Christmas. Watch our web site at theclassicalstation. org for details of special seasonal programs created by Bob Chapman, host of the WCPE Opera House, and Rob Kennedy, host of Great Sacred Music, along with the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival.

New Year’s Eve - December 31

We’ll spend Monday Night at the Symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic at 8:00 p.m., then dance our way to midnight with waltzes and other festive favorites to help you ring in the new year.

Russian Romantics Weekend - January 11–13

Russia’s landscape is a place of stark beauty, and its culture is rich in both history and legend. It’s not surprising that nineteenth century Russian composers would turn away from the musical dominance of Western Europe to find inspiration in their homeland. Join us for the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and more. It’s one of our favorite feature weekends, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Friday in the WCPE Concert Hall.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - January 21

We celebrate the legacy of Dr. King with music of American composers and performers.

Mozart Madness - January 25–27

The musical genius of young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was unmistakable at an age when most of us would have been learning our ABCs. But no one could dream of how profoundly he would affect the course of music in his all-too-brief life. His operas, symphonies, piano concertos, and sacred music were unlike anything heard before. Join WCPE for a three-day celebration of all things Mozart, culminating in the anniversary of his birth. (Be sure to ask for your favorite Mozart pieces during our All- Request Friday on January 25.)

Black History Month -February

We’ll celebrate music by composers and performers of African ancestry throughout the month.

Valentine’s Day (by advance request) - Thursday, February 14

Make a Classical music request in honor of your sweetie. We’ll play as many requests as we can from 9:00 a.m. to the start of the WCPE Opera House at 7:00 p.m. that day. Requests must be received by February 11 online or through the U.S. Postal Service.

Simply Strings Weekend - February 15–17

Somewhere back in antiquity, an enterprising person stretched a few vines across an empty tortoise shell, and our Simply Strings Weekend was born. A lot has happened from then until now: Stradivarius, Vivaldi, Paganini, Pablo Casals, Itzhak Perlman. Join us for a celebration of music for violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, mandolin, harp, and more!

Presidents’ Day - Monday, February 18

Patriotic selections and American music to honor our leaders through the years.

All-Request Fridays - December 28, January 25, and February 22

You can play music director on the final Friday of each month. Submit your request online anytime , or call us at 919.556.0123 on the morning of the request program. We’ll play your requests from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcasts

We are looking forward to another season of Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts for 2018-2019. Launched in 1931, the Met's Saturday matinee broadcasts are the longest-running continuous classical radio series in American broadcast history. The 2018-2019 season marks the 88th year of live Saturday broadcasts and will again be heard on The Classical Station.