Classical 91.5

Julia Figueras

Music Director and Midday host

A Strong Memorial baby and Greece Arcadia grad, Julia Figueras is the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI-FM. She is also the producer and host for the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.

Figueras began her radio life in 1980 at WICN in Worcester, MA, and has been playing formats ranging from classical to rock to jazz, with a dash of talk in Boston, MA as well as at stations in Concord and Portsmouth, NH.  She received her bachelor's degree in theater, cum laude, from Brandeis University.

The mother of two daughters, she has a passion for the Boston Red Sox and New York Times crossword puzzles, loves Dvořák, Radiohead, Springsteen, and Brahms, and enjoys reading mysteries and histories. She is also a member of a trivia team that competes in weekly quizzes throughout Rochester. Currently, Figueras sits on the Board of Directors for the Penfield Symphony Orchestra with her husband, Peter Iglinski, and holds an honorary seat on the Amadeus Children's Chorale board. Previously, she spent 10 years on the Board of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Figueras also writes the WXXI Classical Music e-Newsletter. Sign up here!

Ways to Connect

Eastman School of Music

The combination of voice and guitar happen all too rarely in classical music.  On the next Backstage Pass, two great professors at the Eastman School of Music merge their talents to bring these sonorities together. Tenor Robert Swensen and guitarist Nicolas Goluses join host Julia Figueras to sing, strum, and speak with works by Britten, Rodrigo, Walton, and Argento.

Friday, October 28 at 1 PM.  The show repeats Sunday, October 30 at 1 PM.

Seaman: Marco Borgreve

It's been almost exactly 10 years since pianist Andrew Von Oeyen made his debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra with then Music Director Christopher Seaman.  Now, Maestro Seaman is Conductor Laureate for the RPO, and Andrew Von Oeyen has a new recording contract with Warner Brothers.

They're back together again, and made a trip to the WXXI studios to chat with Music Director Julia Figueras about their concert, the decade past, and the dangers of pushing young talent too hard and too soon.

Sad news...

Oct 2, 2016
BBC News

Sad news today, as the classical world has lost an icon.   

Bach-to-Bach Punning

Sep 21, 2016
Penny R. Frondelli

Blame it all on Jeffrey Biegel. He and several orchestras commissioned a new piano concerto from PDQ Bach...which got Jeffrey thinking.  There were already so many Bachs--JSB, CPE, WF, JC, JCF, to name a few.  How many other Bachs, he wondered, were out there? So Jeffrey asked us, the trusty world of classical announcers, if we knew of any.  And things got pretty silly.

Some of the suggestions:

Nakamastu: Peter Schaaf. Star:

The new season for your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is about to begin.  RPO Music Director Ward Star and pianist Jon Nakamatsu stopped by our studios to chat with Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras. In their conversation, they talked about Rachmaninov as chamber music, Beethoven as  master of the dance, and the art of designing a season.

She was a most extraordinary woman: the most prolific composer in mid-17th century Venice; a much-praised poet and singer; a property owner when most women were not. On Friday, September 23, Pegasus Early Music joins producer and host Julia Figueras to showcase Strozzi's unique and passionate voice.

Tune in at 1 PM for an hour of sacred, secular, vocal and instrumental music by Strozzi and her Venetian contemporaries, including Cavalli, Castello, and others.


Alexander Pena, ROCmusic Collaborative director and member of the teaching faculty at the Eastman Community Music School, along with ROCmusic teaching artists and students join Julia Figueras for this special Backstage Pass. ROCmusic, an El Sistema-inspired after-school and summer music education program provides tuition-free classical music and instrument instruction within economically disadvantaged communities to help enable urban youth in Rochester, NY.

Howard LeVant, FLCMF photographer

Host Julia Figueras welcomes Richard Auldon Clark, artistic director, and members of the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival to the Henry Epstein Studio at WXXI for Backstage Pass on Friday, July 29, 2016 at 1 pm on Classical 91.5. 

The musicians will perform and share details about several big projects coming up, including a new CD and the premiere of Clark's Kurt Vonnegut opera.

Host Julia Figueras welcomes faculty members of the MostArts Festival at Alfred University to the WXXI studios for Backstage Pass on Tuesday, June 21 at 1 p.m. on Classical 91.5. This summer festival features talented musicians from across the country performing chamber and orchestral music, and a Young Pianist Competition, as well as workshops in ceramics and glass blowing at area art exhibitions and museums.

Classical 91.5 host Julia Figueras welcomes the Carillon Tuba Quartet from the Eastman School of Music to Backstage Pass on Friday, May 20, 2016 at 1 p.m. on Classical 91.5. The group, which actually consists of four euphoniums and one tuba, performs regularly around Rochester and have placed in several brass and chamber music competitions.  They will perform in studio and talk to Julia about their past and upcoming performances.