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

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.

There are just two pieces in this week's Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concert: "Romeo and Juliet" by Berlioz, and Brahms' massive Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Jeremy Denk. Jeremy and RPO Music Director Ward Stare talked to Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras about the pieces: the passion of Berlioz and the perfection of Brahms. And teachers. And Nina Simone.

Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is about to perform one of the great choral works of all time: Mozart's Requiem.  RPO Music Director Ward Stare and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, who is a professor at the Eastman School of Music, joined WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras to chat about its curious history and how to approach the work. Also discussed: Hovhaness's fugues and Stravinsky's War Symphony.

The upcoming Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra program is filled with power and passion, from the romantic look east in Ravel's "Shéhérazade" to the dark portrait of the Soviet Union with Elliot Goldenthal's "Pravda" and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. Music Director Ward Stare and soprano Nicole Cabell came to our studios to chat with Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras about the works, with a backward glance by Nicole at her alma mater, the Eastman School of Music,  and the magic moment she was crowned the Cardiff Singer of the World.

http://www.esm.rochester.edu/trombone/trombone-choir/#jp-carousel-245

What happens if you find 24 trombonists in one room? In Rochester, it means you sit down and enjoy a concert with the Eastman Trombone Choir.

The choir, now in its 75th year, has played around the country and around the world, but never on Backstage Pass. Conductors Mark Kellogg and Larry Zalkind rectify that when they bring the Trombone Choir to Studio A for a performance and chat with host Julia Figueras. Expect the unexpected on Tuesday, January 31 at 1 PM.  The show will repeat at 1 PM on Sunday, February 5.


Cellist Julian Schwarz has just been named to the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia.

The second half of your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's season begins on the dance floor--from the tranquil and often spritely Beethoven violin concerto to the waltz tempi of Ravel's Noble and Sentimental Waltzes and the suite from Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier. Ward Stare, the RPO Music Director, chats with Classical 91.5's Music Director about these three works and how two of them overcame rough premieres.

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