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

Hartwick.edu

Louis Vierne: Messe Sollennelle, op 16

In this Performance Rochester presentation with First Inversion, you'll hear one of two French masses they undertook for this January 2018 performance, which also included motets by Maurice Durufle. Malcolm Matthews and Oliver Brett are the featured organists. The Mass is considered to be one of the highlights of the late Romantic sacred works.

David Liptak: Cold Litanies

One hallmark of the First Muse concert series has been its commitment to commissioning new works. For Joys and Litanies: A Local Perspective, a concert held on September 24, 2017, First Muse Artistic Director Melissa Matson refined that idea, programming works by three Rochester composers: David Liptak (left), Cary Ratcliff (lower rt), and James Willey. Cold Litanies, a work written by David Liptak in 2007 and revised in 2015, is featured on Performance Rochester.

Josef Rheinberger: Die Wasserfee (The Mermaid)
Sir Edward Elgar: The Dance

Recorded in concert in March and April at Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY, these two songs from "Turkish Love Songs and Other Romantic Rarities" mark the first of two appearances for Lee Wright and First Inversion on Performance Rochester. You may recognize Elgar's "The Dance." Elgar's wife wrote lyrics for a series of tunes Elgar composed while they were on holiday in the mountains; Elgar would later remove the words to create his Bavarian Dances Suite.

Suher/Liptak: Andy Olenick

Bobby McFerrin: 23rd Psalm
Richard Proulx: Psalm 133
Richard Nance: Psalm 42

In these days of high speed and fraught emotions, who doesn't want a moment of peace? That's what Madrigalia offered when it combined forces with the Cordancia Chamber Orchestra for "Songs of the Soul" in May, 2017. Together, they offered up a concert filled with settings from the Book of Psalms--each one unique and thoughtful. You'll hear modern settings of three psalms, beginning with vocalist Bobby McFerrin's song,  dedicated to his mother.

Madrigalia is composed of 18 highly skilled vocalists from the Rochester area. Known for its beauty of sound and artistic excellence, the ensemble presents unique and challenging programs of choral music built around intriguing themes. Their music draws from all times and places, spanning the riches of classic choral styles, the vast range of compelling music being written in our time, and the intriguing musical expressions of cultures throughout the world.

Cordancia was formed in 2009 by violinist Pia Liptak and oboist Kathleen Suher. The ensemble offers up eclectic programs that blend the traditional with the unexpected. They appeared in the holiday edition of Classical 91.5's Backstage Pass in December 2014.


O'Connor: Bel Canto Global Arts

Amy Beach: III. Credo, Grand Mass in E-Flat, op. 5

It was a full house at the Hochstein Performance Hall on October 20, 2017...both in the seats and on the stage. Rochester Oratorio Society music director Eric Townell gathered a host of talent to celebrate the centenary of women's suffrage in New York. In addition to the 130 member ROS, he brought in Concentus Women's Chorus, under the direction of Gwendolyn Gassler, the ROS Orchestra, and four soloists, including soprano Elena O'Connor.

Claude Bolling: Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio

Rebecca Gilbert, flute
Jeff Campbell, double bass
Chiao-Wen Cheng, piano
Dave Mancini, drums

It was a stroke of genius: jazz pianist Claude Bolling wrote a seven movement Bach-infused suite for jazz piano trio and flute, enlisted the talents of classical flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal to play with his band, and released an album with a sassy and sexy cover. It was an instant best seller, and was nominated for a Grammy award that year.

Telemann: Noveaux Quatuors en Six Suite, No. 2

In May, 2017, the Publick Music took us to the salons of eighteenth century Paris, one of the great centers of artistic and intellectual life in Europe. Paris was hopping--one report said you could see a concert every day in the city. So what, you might ask, is a piece by Georg Philipp Telemann doing on the program?

Matson: Canandaigua Lake Music Festival/Galvan: MostArts Festival

Frank Bridge: Two pieces for viola and piano

The First Muse concert "British Buddies" on November 19, 2017 in the First Universalist Church gave us three delightful entries for Performance Rochester  2018.

All photos: rpo.org

Bach/Sitkovetski: Goldberg Variations for string trio, BWV 988

The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester produced a concert to celebrate the many influences of Bach. Included was Dmitry Sitkovetsky's chamber arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations, a work he wrote to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Bach's birth.

rossings.org

Lili Boulanger: Psalm XXIV

In March 2017, The Rochester Oratorio Society collaborated with the University of Rochester Humanities Center in the "Poetry for Peace" project--a month-long series that commemorated the centenary of the U.S. entry into World War I. Art, poetry, and music of that era were all explored in moderated discussions throughout Rochester, culminating in a concert on March 24.

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