Background: I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, one of the most beautiful places in creation. When I say that, most people say, “Then what are you doing HERE?” But Boston is also very beautiful, and the Red Sox and the Boston Symphony Orchestra don’t play in Vancouver! I’ve been a singer ever since I can remember, from early church choir experiences, to folk singing, then to a cappella groups, choral conducting and more. After a couple of years of slogging through university, I couldn’t resist the urge to follow a musical path, so I studied voice at the University of British Columbia. Then I went on to this amazing and rewarding career, recording and broadcasting classical music, first at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and then at WGBH in Boston, with a little break in between to get a graduate degree in music.
Nickname: Richie (Okay, it was a long, long time ago, but somebody said I resembled Ron Howard in “Happy Days”.)
First album I ever owned: Herman’s Hermits – their first album from 1965, including “I’m Into Something Good”. And here I am at 99.5 All Classical. Into something good.
Five desert island albums: I can think of one: Puccini’s “La Boheme”, with the incomparable duo, tenor Jussi Bjorling and soprano Victoria de los Angeles. “Che gelida manina” gives me chills. And I think on a hot desert island, chills might come in handy... Another is “Våren är kommen” (Spring Has Come), a collection of Spring and Summer serenades by the incomparable Swedish men’s chorus “Orphei Drängar” (Sons of Orpheus), conducted by Robert Sund.
Favorite podcast: That’s easy: the “WGBH Classical Performance Podcast” from WGBH and 99.5 All Classical
Greatest places to see live music: Has to be Jordan Hall in Boston
Most memorable concert: Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass, and Oscar Peterson, at the Queen Elizabeth Theater, Vancouver, some time in the 1970s. What a thrill.
Favorite movie about music/musician: The Pianist was a memorable one, but favorite? Maybe it’s The Benny Goodman Story.
Favorite book about music/musician: Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment, by James R. Gaines, all about Bach’s relationship with Frederick the Great.
When not listening to classical music, I listen to jazz, and anything my family wants to introduce me to. I’m also a bit of a news junky, truth be told.
Finest moment on the air: Any moment when I’m making sense.
Most embarrassing moment on the air: Oh, let’s not get into that.
If I weren’t a radio host, I’d be cooking for loggers on the British Columbia coast.
The best part of my job is introducing listeners to the fabulous wealth of music and music-makers in the Boston area, especially when they’re here to play in our Fraser Performance Studio. It can’t be beat!