Unprecedented Broadcast “BSO Encores Nightly @8” Responds to
BSO Performance Cancellations

BOSTON (March 18, 2020) – In a show of solidarity with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) as it has canceled live performances due to the pandemic, 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston will broadcast encore BSO performances beginning Monday.

The arrangement was made possible by a unanimous agreement between the BSO musicians and WGBH. It is believed to be the first time an American radio station and its hometown orchestra have created such an extensive broadcast partnership.

Beginning March 23 and running through at least April 18, BSO Encores, Nightly @8, will present a past Boston Symphony Orchestra performance each evening, Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m.

“As we maintain social distance to keep our population healthy, we must find new ways to strengthen the fabric of our communities,” said WCRB station manager Anthony Rudel. “We’re partnering with the BSO to bring the powerful communal experience of a live classical concert directly to listeners, at a time when they are craving connection and culture.”

BSO Encores, Nightly @8, kicks off with a performance of Beethoven, Bartok and Tchaikovsky under the baton of the BSO music director Andris Nelsons. The pre-recorded concerts will be selected from those performed by the BSO over the past six years. The program will replace WCRB’s “Symphony at 8” for its duration. Broadcast locally at 99.5 FM and for all at www.classicalwcrb.org, listeners also can ask their smart speaker to “play 99.5 Classical Radio Boston.”

“Speaking on behalf of the BSO Family, we are incredibly grateful to WCRB 99.5 and Tony Rudel for so generously supporting the Boston Symphony Orchestra by making the BSO much more available on the radio during this challenging time of concert cancellations,” said BSO President and CEO Mark Volpe. “Their commitment to re-broadcasting six Boston Symphony performances each week, many with our beloved music director, Andris Nelsons—along with the unanimous support of the BSO musicians—is an example of partnership beyond compare in the American orchestral field. We hope that these broadcasts will bring the BSO community and the wider WCRB listenership great comfort and inspiration during these difficult times, as we share the orchestra’s musical gifts that give so many of us the food for our souls as often stated by our dear maestro. As we all face this challenge together, we send our most heart-felt concern to those most affected with the coronavirus and their caretakers.”

WGBH made its broadcast debut with the BSO--the first-ever radio broadcast on WGBH was a Boston Symphony Orchestra performance from Symphony Hall on October 6, 1951. The public media station has broadcast the orchestra regularly ever since. WCRB, which joined WGBH in 2009, broadcasts over 50 live broadcasts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from Symphony Hall and Tanglewood each year.

About WCRB
WCRB 99.5 FM is a non-commercial, independent, listener-supported public radio station dedicated to excellence in classical music broadcasting. Serving Boston and the New England region, it offers accessible classical radio of the highest caliber and operates under the core belief that classical music can and should be part of everyone’s life. WCRB is a key community convener for classical music in New England, partnering with local arts organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, the New England Conservatory and more. Its online streaming reaches a global audience. WCRB is a service of national public media leader WGBH.

About WGBH
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of digital content and programs for public radio through PRX, including The World and Innovation Hub, a leader in educational multimedia with PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content, and a pioneer in services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.