Classical 99.5 WCRB

Fourth Of July Weekend From 99.5 All Classical

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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Join 99.5 All Classical to celebrate our country's birthday!
With programs that offer the full range and vitality of classical music, 99.5 All Classical is the soundtrack to your holiday weekend. 

Saturday, July 2 at 6pm
New England Summer Festivals Goes To The Cape
Sand dunes, lobster rolls, antique shops, and … chamber music! Chamber music is central to the summer experience in concerts presented from Cotuit to Provincetown by the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival.  Join us in a celebration of that experience on New England Summer Festivals.  (Repeats Sunday, July 3 at noon, and on demand at

Saturday, July 2 at 7pm
The Boston Symphony Orchestra
America is home to some of the greatest orchestras in the world, and from its very beginnings, the Boston Symphony Orchestra has set the standard.  Join Ron Della Chiesa for selections from Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet with conductor Seiji Ozawa.  Also, James Levine conducts two symphonies by Mozart, Nos. 20 and 39, and Ravel's ravishing Daphnis et Chloé

Sunday, July 3, 7am-11am
Baroque in Boston
Wake up with Laura Carlo and the sounds of Colonial Boston, as Baroque in Boston, one of our new weekend programs on 99.5 All Classical. Laura brings you music by William Billings, Moses Kimball, and other Colonial composers in performances by Joel Cohen and Boston Camerata, and much more.

Sunday, July 3 at 1pm
Stephen Foster:  America's Bard
It’s hard to imagine American music without the work of Stephen Collins Foster, born on July 4, 1826 – fifty years to the day after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Naomi Lewin of WQXR features Foster's iconic songs, including Oh, Susannah, Beautiful Dreamer, Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair, and more, in performances by Marilyn Horne, Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and many others.

Sunday, July 3 at 2pm
The BSO On Record
Brian Bell brings you Boston Symphony Orchestra performances of music by two great American composers. Seiji Ozawa conducts Leonard Bernstein's Serenade (after Plato's "Symposium") and Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, with soloist Itzhak Perlman.

Sunday, July 3 at 3pm
An American Journey, with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin leads the orchestra in the Three Dance Episodes from Leonard Bernstein's On The Town and George Gershwin's An American in Paris. American composers of today are on the program as well, with Mason Bates's Liquid Interface and Richard Danielpour's Pastime, a tribute to baseball's Negro Leagues.

Monday, July 4 at 6am
William Grant Still
As morning dawns on Independence Day, Laura Carlo features one of America's great composers, William Grant Still.  Born in Mississippi in 1895, he pursued medicine in college, but eventually graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and continued his studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Tune in for selections from his evocation of American places, American Scenes. (photo by Carl Van Vechten)

Monday, July 4 at 11am
Copland's Symphony No. 3
Cathy Fuller brings you a true American masterpiece, the Symphony No. 3 by Aaron Copland. Commissioned and premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1946, it expands on the spirit and energy of the composer's Fanfare for the Common Man. But the purity of grace and strength in that earlier piece is embedded within a piece with rhythmic drive and multi-layered orchestration that builds to a triumphant climax.

Monday, July 4 at 2pm
John Harbison's Songs America Loves To Sing
Boston's John Harbison is a major force in music of our time, and in 2004 he drew upon memories: "the family around the piano singing familiar songs, a Currier and Ives print, an album of sepia photographs." Brian McCreath features this piece, built on songs like "Amazing Grace," "Aura Lee," and "We Shall Overcome," in a performance from the Andover Chamber Music Series.

Monday, July 4 at 5pm
Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue
The iconic American music by George Gershwin was featured in the January 1961 Concert for the Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. Tune in for this performance, featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and pianist Earl Wild.  

Monday, July 4 at 6pm
The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular!
Ron Della Chiesa and Laura Carlo, live on the Esplanade, are your hosts as America's Orchestra celebrates the country's birthday. Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops, with guest host Michael Chiklis. The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus, special guest Martina McBride, and audience favorites including "The Stars and Stripes Forever," and Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" add up to an unforgettable celebration!

Features and interviews

The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is made possible by Liberty Mutual. Insurance from a company that's as responsible as you are.

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By Brian McCreath   |   Friday, June 17, 2011
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Live From Tanglewood On 99.5 All Classical

Monday, June 20, 2011
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Tanglewood returns for summer weekends on 99.5 All Classical with a full slate of live BSO concerts beginning on July 8

This summer, every note from every thrilling Boston Symphony Orchestra concert at Tanglewood will be broadcast live by 99.5 All Classical and shared with public radio stations in Western New England and upstate New York. Beginning in July, every Friday and Saturday night concert, as well as every Sunday afternoon performance in the Koussevitsky Music Shed will be broadcast live via 99.5 FM and online at Once again hosted by Ron Della Chiesa, the live broadcasts have been expanded this year to include pre-concert interviews, features, and music from other Tanglewood locales and ensembles. The concerts air Fridays and Saturdays from 7-11pm, and Sundays from 1-5pm.

“From Ozawa’s debut to Bernstein’s farewell, musical memories are made every summer – and indeed, at every concert – at Tanglewood,” says Ben Roe, WGBH’s new Managing Director for Classical Services. “There is no festival in the world that equals Tanglewood’s special combination of great musical art made in such a beautiful natural setting. It’s one of the reasons we’re not only committed to broadcasting every single BSO performance from the Music Shed, but also to expand the broadcasts so that we may include the remarkable performances by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, as well as the great chamber performances at Seiji Ozawa hall.” 99.5’s Tanglewood broadcasts will also be heard on WFCR in Amherst, MA; WMNR Fine Arts Radio in Monroe, CT; and WAMC Northeast Public Radio in Albany, NY.

The Tanglewood broadcast season begins on Friday, July 8 at 7pm, when Charles Dutoit conducts Opening Night from the Koussevitzky Music Shed.The All-Italian program will include Rossini's "William Tell" Overture, Respighi's Pines of Rome, and excerpts from Bellini's Norma and Verdi's I Lombardi. The following night, Dutoit leads the spectacular Requiem by Hector Berlioz, with tenor Russell Thomas. Then on Sunday afternoon, July 10, violinist Joshua Bell joins Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the BSO to perform Max Bruch’s "Scottish Fantasy." The program also features Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon’s Loco and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, the “Pathétique.”

Full Tanglewood broadcast schedule

WGBH Restores Full-Time Classical Radio to Rhode Island

Thursday, June 2, 2011
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WGBH Restores Full-Time Classical Radio to Rhode Island
Partnership with Bryant University extends service on 88.7FM, offers students new tech platforms

Radio listeners in the Ocean State will once again have access to a full-time classical music station as the result of a partnership between Boston public broadcaster WGBH and Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.

Beginning in August, the University’s station, WJMF 88.7FM, will re-transmit the signal from WGBH’s 99.5 All Classical service, returning round-the-clock classical broadcasts to the Providence area.

Bryant’s student-run station will continue uninterrupted on a variety of new technology platforms, including via WJMF HD-2, smartphone applications, and the use of one of WGBH’s mobile DTV channels. Bryant’s WJMF will be the first student-run station in the region to be available on the groundbreaking new mobile service.

“This is a major step in WGBH’s commitment to restore a full-time classical service to audiences in our region,” said WGBH Chief Operating Officer Ben Godley. “We’re delighted to be working with Bryant University and its students as they move from over-the-air broadcast to new and emerging digital audio services for their listeners.”

The reciprocal arrangement will give Bryant students the opportunity to learn from WGBH digital and broadcast technology experts during the summer in preparation for an August transition. WGBH has been a pioneer in expanding classical music onto new platforms, with live streaming, dedicated online streams, an all-classical HD channel, podcasts and mobile applications.

“Bryant has just taken a strategic step in a new direction with a terrific partner,” said Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley, “I am thrilled that this collaboration returns classical music broadcasts to Rhode Island while providing our students hands-on opportunities to master leading-edge technologies for delivery of WJMF music, sports programming, and talk shows not just in New England but throughout the country.”

The arrangement involves no capital commitment on behalf of WGBH, and Bryant University plans to maximize the 88.7 signal by increasing its power from 225 watts to 1200 watts by virtue of a recently awarded construction permit from the FCC.

“This is a wonderful arrangement for both institutions,” said Marita Rivero, WGBH Vice President for Radio and TV. “It’s a great fit with public media’s educational mission to be working with Bryant University as we begin to realize the possibilities we imagined for 99.5All Classical (WCRB) when we acquired it in late 2009.”

Adds Benjamin Roe, WGBH’s new Managing Director for Classical Services, “Rhode Island classical-music audiences were among the most loyal to both WCRB and WGBH. But when WCRB’s dial position shifted from 102.5 to 99.5, Providence became one of the largest markets in the country to be without a full-time classical station. We are absolutely delighted to be returning to an area with so much vibrant cultural activity, and look forward to sharing it with the rest of the region.”

In the coming months WGBH will be evaluating call letter options as it considers the new reach of the classical service throughout New England.

New Weekend Schedule For 99.5 All Classical

Tuesday, May 17, 2011
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99.5 All Classical has changed the sounds of weekends. With more of Boston's favorite local hosts and dynamic new programs from 99.5 All Classical, NPR, and American Public Media, audiences are discovering new worlds of classical music that showcase a remarkable range, appeal, and diversity.

The weekend begins Friday nights at 10pm with the addition of Concierto, America’s first program of classical music presented in both Spanish and English. Concierto, hosted by Frank Dominguez, explores the world of classical music through the lens of Latin American and Spanish composers and musicians, from Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra (left) to the enchanting sounds of Spanish zarzuela.

James David Jacobs continues hosting duties on Saturday mornings, but now spends an extra hour behind the microphone. New to his show is Classics for Kids, an award-winning short program that brings classical music’s great composers to life through music and stories. Classics for Kids, Kids Classical Hour, and From the Top all form a new 99.5 web initiative: Classical Kids, an online destination providing education, entertainment, games, videos and resources designed to bring kids closer to classical music.

At noon on Saturdays, longtime Boston radio fixture Ray Brown returns to the host’s chair with a unique mix of music that makes him the ideal Saturday companion.

Each week, Boston’s All Classical team hits the road to share the places, personalities and great performances that make up New England Summer Festivals, including the Rockport Chamber Music Festival (left), Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine, Monadnock Music in New Hampshire, Newport Music Festival, and many more.

99.5’s signature offering of symphonic music continues on Saturday night, starting at 7pm with concerts from the Boston Pops and/or Boston Symphony Orchestra, either direct from 99.5’s studio at Symphony Hall or from the Music Shed at Tanglewood (right).

After experiencing the best in local, live classical music, listeners travel nationwide and around the globe with Performance Today Weekend. Hosted by Fred Child, Performance Today is the most-listened to classical music program in America, featuring live concerts from iconic musicians worldwide, as well as interviews, news and features.

All-new Sundays on 99.5 feature familiar voices. Laura Carlo is waking up Boston for one more day with Baroque in Boston, a new show that explores and celebrates the richness and diversity of Boston’s early music scene. The program feature music that ranges from Renaissance bransles to the sturdy New England melodies of William Billings, with plenty of Bach and his contemporaries in between.

Popular personality Cathy Fuller delivers two programs on Sunday: Live from Fraser, which now gets a weekend presentation at 11am, and Arias and Barcarolles, an exploration of song – and the art of the vocal recital – at 6pm. The Bach Hour with Brian McCreath can be heard at 6am and 5pm, as McCreath, also heard weekday afternoons, explores the mastery of composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Alan McLellan, the mastermind behind 99.5’s live classical performances, takes a turn in front of the microphone with a two-hour stint starting at noon on Sundays.

Producer Brian Bell’s BSO on Record, a weekly hour of recordings by the BSO, remains in the 2pm slot, preceding Sunday Concert, a broadcast of noted classical performances from orchestras both at home (such as the Boston Philharmonic and the Handel & Haydn Society) as well as around the world (such as the symphony orchestras of Chicago, left, and Pittsburgh).

Sunday evenings on 99.5 now belong to opera. For the first time in 25 years, a comprehensive opera program will be available to listeners in Boston. The popular NPR program World of Opera, hosted by 25-year broadcast veteran Lisa Simeone (right), features weekly performances by top American and international opera companies.

Simeone’s hour-long Spoleto Chamber Music follows, and Pipedreams, a program dedicated to “the King of Instruments” (and frequently featuring Boston-area organists and organs) closes out the evening.

Here is the complete schedule for 99.5, Boston's All Classical Station:

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Live From Carnegie Hall

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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In 2008 Jaap van Zweden became Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, bringing years of experience as Concertmaster of the legendary Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam to Texas.

Now Jaap van Zweden and the DSO are in New York, playing a concert at Carnegie Hall as part of the inaugural Spring for Music festival, an event that draws its participants from program proposals submitted by orchestras around the country.

This evening the DSO performs Steven Stucky's August 4, 1964.  Here is an excerpt of the program notes.

The Dallas Symphony commissioned this work in observance of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s 100th birthday in August 2008. August 4, 1964 explores the epic tragedy of the larger-than-life, Texas-born politician. His legacy in civil rights is admirable. His escalation of the Vietnam War remains controversial. Taken together, those two issues encapsulate the turbulent 1960s.

For complete program notes, visit Spring for Music, and as you listen below, feel free to participate in the online chat with host Fred Child and NPR Music.


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Brian McCreath Brian McCreath


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