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

It was Beethoven's gift to the world: a hope for universal peace and joy--and work to unify us all. And it worked: hundreds of years later, his Symphony No. 9, the Choral, is one of our most beloved pieces in the canon. Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Ward Stare spoke to WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about this grand work and and the piece he paired it with for this week's RPO concerts: Wagner's "Prelude and Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Ward Stare programmed just two pieces for this week's concerts: Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven's masterful Piano Concerto No. 5. Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras welcomed the Music Director and pianist Olga Kern to chat about this evening of fan favorites. But don't be fooled--the Mussorgsky will be performed in an all-new way for our ears:  a compilation of orchestrations by nine different composers.

It's our biggest Backstage Pass of the year...really!  Your Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra--all 84 of 'em--comes to our studio to play Faure, Respighi, and more.  RPYO Music Director James Mick, Orchestra Manager Irene Narotsky and Board Chair Dave Lane, mentors Wesley Nance and Lars Kirvan from yourRPO, and students Joyce Luo and Trevor Healy will all have conversations with host Julia Figueras in between jaw-dropping performances by this outstanding orchestra. Friday, November 10 at 1 PM. The program repeats on Sunday, November 12 at 1 PM.


Christopher Seaman, Conductor Laureate of your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, is back in town for his annual date with the band. Joining him this time around is pianist Joyce Yang for an evening that will include a Beethoven overture, a Sibelius symphony, and Mozart's dramatic and mysterious Piano Concerto No. 24. Maestro Seaman and Miss Yang chatted with WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about the complexities of Mozart, the heroics of Sibelius, and the experience of accompanying a dance company...from the stage.

Photo: Eastman School of Music

Pianist Rebecca Penneys taught at the Eastman School of Music for almost 4 decades. As of this semester, she holds the title of Professor Emerita of Piano. Miss Penneys--who appeared on Backstage Pass in March of this year in a celebration of the Salon Concert Series--joins host Julia Figueras for a look back at her time at the school and a look forward, as she talks about how her new life is growing out of her Eastman days. Works by Soler, Scarlatti, Brahms, and Chopin are in the musical mix. Tune in for this special salute on Monday, October 23 at 1 PM.

The next Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concerts have a distinctly Spanish flair, with works by Spaniards and pieces inspired by that sunny country. WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras chatted with RPO Music Director Ward Stare about mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard (who will be featured) and the program, which includes a piece that made the maestro squirm the first time he heard it.

Photo by Arthur Moeller / www.jensenartists.com

The Neave Trio has graced both Rochester stages and our airwaves-twice as guests of Live from Hochstein. This is your chance to hear them talk!

wardstare.com

The 2017-18 season for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is just about to start.  Round 1 has two pieces inspired by literature surrounding a great and beloved piano concerto. RPO Music Director Ward Stare talked with WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras about "Don Juan" by Richard Strauss (a favorite of Ward's), Grieg's sweeping Piano Concerto in a-minor (which will feature Inon Barnatan), Prokofiev's "Cinderella," and why Shostakovich kept a fully packed suitcase by the front door.

Credit: Memorial Art Gallery

Tune in for this live broadcast from the Memorial Art Gallery’s Clothesline Arts Festival, or stop by and see us there!  Saturday, September 9th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Classical 91.5.

Sax during Surgery!

Aug 25, 2017
NPR

Saxophonist Dan Fabbio was working toward his Master's Degree at the Eastman School of Music when something went wrong--he could no longer hear music stereophonically. They discovered that he had a brain tumor. What happened at the U of R Medical Center after that was a musical miracle.  Here's the story from NPR's All Things Considered.

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