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

Almost 10 years ago, tenor Gregory Kunde and Linda Wojciechowski sang sacred songs together for our first ever holiday Backstage Pass. Since then, Gregory Kunde's opera career has taken off--especially in Europe. On the next Backstage Pass, the couple returns to sing and to chat with host Julia Figueras about all that has happened...and what could be next. Friday, June 2 at 1 PM. The show repeats on June 4 at 1 PM.

In 2002, Juliana Athayde and Fabien Gabel were both in the Aspen Summer Music Festival. Fifteen years later, they'll take the stage together--he as guest conductor of your Rochester Philharmonic, and she as soloist in Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2. Together, they chatted with WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras about the magic of Debussy, the earthiness of Bartok, and what took Juliana so long to get to that concerto.

jacksonville.com

Courtney Lewis, who has been a guest conductor for your Rochester Phiharmonic Orchestra, is now  Music Director for the Jacksonville Symphony. He's given serious thought to where the orchestra players should sit.  In fact, he has two different seating plans, depending on the program. So who sits where and why?

Photo: Eastman School of Music

Backstage Pass

May 2, 2017

Bassist James VanDemark is in his 40th year as a professor at the Eastman School of Music. Generations of his students have gone on to great careers as performers and teachers... and sometimes as doctors. On this edition of Backstage Pass, James and some of his students past and present join producer and host Julia Figueras to discuss his remarkable achievements on the stage and in the studio over the last 4 decades.

Visit the Backstage Pass program page.


Halski Studios

There are just two works this week for your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra: Leonard Slatkin's "Kinah" and Mahler's Symphony No . 5.  RPO Music Director Ward Stare introduces WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras to the Slatkin work, and then takes her on Mahler's symphonic journey from death to laughter.

Now that the Amenda Quartet has finished the Beethoven cycle, it's moving on to two other B's: Bartok and Brahms.  On the next Backstage Pass, the quartet--violinists David Brickman and Patricia Sunwoo, violist Melissa Matson, and cellist Mimi Hwang--are joined by world-class clarinetist Jon Manasse for an hour of chamber music and chat and with host Julia Figueras. Friday, April 7 at 1 PM. The show repeats on Sunday, April 9 at 1 PM.


For 2 decades, pianist Rebecca Penneys, violinist Mikhail Kopelman, and cellist Stefan Reuss have made beautiful music together in the Salon Concert series. On Friday, March 31 at 1 PM, the trio joins host Julia Figueras to talk about this remarkable series and what has kept it going for all these years. Fittingly, this season has featured works by musical friends; works by Brahms and Dvorak will be featured on this edition of Backstage Pass.  The show will repeat on Sunday, April 2 at 1 PM.


Guest conductor James Feddeck and pianist Natasha Paremski are offering up an evening of Russian delights with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra this week. On the bill: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and American Sean Shepherd's piece inspired by Russian fairytales. Classical 91.5's Music Director Julia Figueras chatted with them about the subtlety and humor in Russian music, the wonderful advice from teachers, and the dangers of criticism.

Ward Stare: Devon Glass; Ingrid Fliter: Anton Dressler

Chopin specialist and Gilmore Award winner Ingrid Fliter is in town to join Ward Stare and your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of...Chopin. She and Maestro Stare chatted with Classical 91.5's Music Director Julia Figueras about the inner workings of the Gilmore Award, the inner voices of Chopin's music, and the power and beauty of Brahms, whose music will appear twice in the program.

Guitar and violin are an elegant combination, heard from the drawing rooms of the classical era to the concert halls of today. On this month's Backstage Pass WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras welcomes Red Creek Duo--violinist An-Chi Lin and guitarist Anton Machleder--into the Epstein Studio to explore the union of these stringed things. Friday, February 24 at 1 PM. Repeats Sunday, February 26 at 1 PM.


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