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

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.

Michael Haydn: Sigismondo Requiem in c-minor

In the first century, Longinus wrote a treatise, Peri hypsous, or On the Sublime, positing that words could offer us transcendence beyond ourselves.

Michael Ruhling, director of Ensemble Perihipsous, seeks to take us to that higher plane through works from Haydn's era.

Monteverdi:  Con che soavita
                            Si ch'io vorrei morire                      
                            Zefiro torna e di soave

There wasn't a cake big enough to fit all the candles for Monteverdi's birthday, so Pegasus Early Music celebrated in song for his 450th. The party, which happened in the Downtown United Presbyterian Church, featured sopranos Laura Heimes and Shari Alise Wilson; mezzo-soprano Virginia Warnken;  tenors Andrew Fuchs and Jonas Budris; and bass Steven Hrycelak. Joining them were lutenists Dan Swenberg and Deborah Fox, along with David Morris playing cello and lirone.

Matson: Canandaigua Lake Music Festival/Galvan: MostArts Festival

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Suite for Viola and Piano, Group 1 (1934)

We end this work week where we began it: in the First Universalist Church for the First Muse concert "British Buddies" on November 19, 2017. First Muse founder and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Violist Melissa Matson and pianist Kurt Galván play this charming three movement with a Prelude, and Carol, and a Christmas Dance (this was performed in November, after all).

Hochstein School of Music and Dance

Alexander Borodin: Two movements, Petite Suite

Evan Meccarello founded the Hochstein Alumni Orchestra (HAO) in 2010, reuniting musicians who received training at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance. Since its debut, the HAO has played summer concerts in Canandaigua and Perinton, adding an annual winter concert in the Hochstein Performance hall in 2011. When not on stage with a baton, you can find Mr. Meccarello hosting Soundspace Tuesday afternoons on WAYO, 104.3 FM.

Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 in g-minor, op. 25

Jon Nakamatsu, piano
Juliana Athayde, violin
Philip Ying, viola
David Ying, piano

When newly-crowned Van Cliburn Gold medalist Jon Nakamatsu took the stage with your Rochester Philhamonic Orchestra for the first time in 1999, it was love at first sight for pianist, orchestra, and audience alike. Since that snowy day in January, Nakamatsu has returned many times for both orchestra and chamber performances, as well as an appearance on Backstage Pass.

classical915.org

Songs from Magic, Spells and Mystery

Madrigalia and director Cary Ratcliff are no strangers to Classical 91.5 listeners. They've appeared on Backstage Pass, and their "Cup of Good Cheer" on Live from Hochstein has been a tradition for years. Indeed, Madrigalia has been serenading Rochester for over four decades, with no signs of slowing down. 

McGrath: Michael Rutledge/Griffey: anthonydeangriffey.com

Benjamin Britten: Folk Songs, Volume 6

Anthony Dean Griffey, tenor

Lynn McGrath, guitar

This is one of our highlights from the First Muse concert, "British Buddies," on November 19, 2017, in the First Unitarian Church.  Anthony Dean Griffey was the inspiration for this concert: First Muse Artistic Director Melissa Matson wanted to collaborate with Griffey, and designed this all-English program around his warm tenor voice. Also included in the evening were works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge, and John Dowland. Stayed tuned to Performance Rochester--more from this concert will be featured later in the month!

Allen Shawn: MorningStar Music; Ward Stare: Rochester Philharmonic

This week, your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra plays two classic symphonies--Haydn's Symphony No. 22, the Philosopher and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5--and a world premiere of Allen Shawn's Oboe Concerto with RPO Principle Oboe Erik Behr. What a treat to have the composer in town so he, RPO Music Director Ward Stare, and Mr. Behr could all talk to Julia Figueras about the unveiling of this new work. Also in the mix: Maestro Stare's unabashed love of Haydn and what Erik Behr really thinks about the Tchaikovsky Symphony. Oh...and there might be a controversial statement uttered, too.

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