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

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.

Christopher Warren Green, who has played for royalty, takes on Handel's "Messiah" this weekend--a work that was premiered before royalty...during the Lenten season. So how did this glorious work become a corner stone of Christmas

programming? Maestro Warren Green and Eric Townell, Artistic Director of the Rochester Oratorio Society talk about that, along with the many ways one can perform what some have said is one of the greatest pieces ever written.

This year, we celebrate the season with the Eastman Double Reeds.  Four oboists and four bassoonists join us in Studio B to play their own arrangements of holiday hits and more.  Join host Julia Figueras for a festive hour on Thursday, December 8 at 1 PM. The show repeats on Sunday, December 18 at 1 PM.

Cellist Julian Schwarz grew up in a musical home--his father is conductor Gerard Schwarz. On our next Backstage Pass, Julian Schwarz joins host Julia Figueras to discuss growing up musically and rubbing elbows with greats, including Rochester's David Diamond. 

Joining Julian is pianist Marika Bournaki for a program that will include Beethoven, Schumann, Bloch and--yes--Diamond.  Friday, November 11 at 1 PM.  The program will repeat on Sunday, November 13 at 1 PM.

Decca/Andrew Eccles

On November 12, Renee Fleming and the Eastman Philharmonia under the baton of Neil Varon, will premiere "Letters from Georgia," a new work by Eastman School of Music alum Kevin Puts.  The song cycle, which sets letters from Georgia O'Keeffe to music, was created on commission from the school and tailored to the voice of Ms. Fleming. After the world premiere in Rochester, they will repeat the performance in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras chatted with Renee Fleming about the piece, and about her involvement with her alma mater.

Currie/Edinburgh Festival;Stare/RPO

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is wrapping up the first American Music Festival with a concert that includes works by Samuel Barber, Jennifer Higdon, and Aaron Copland. Percussionist Colin Currie, who commissioned Higdon for the concerto he's playing the RPO, discusses the genesis and architecture of the piece, and how his performance has changed since he premiered it 11 years ago.

RPO Music Director Ward Stare chimes in with a chat about Barber's depiction of Medea's tenuous sanity and the nobility and glory that is Copland's Third Symphony.

Eastman School of Music

The combination of voice and guitar happen all too rarely in classical music.  On the next Backstage Pass, two great professors at the Eastman School of Music merge their talents to bring these sonorities together. Tenor Robert Swensen and guitarist Nicolas Goluses join host Julia Figueras to sing, strum, and speak with works by Britten, Rodrigo, Walton, and Argento.

Friday, October 28 at 1 PM.  The show repeats Sunday, October 30 at 1 PM.

Ward Stare
Halski Studio

RPO Music Director Ward Stare has unveiled the American Music Festival, which celebrates some of the best music American composers have given us.  He stopped by our studios to talk about the festival and its importance to Rochester -- and beyond -- with Music Director Julia Figueras.

Seaman: wikipedia.org/VonOeyen: Marco Borgreve

It's been almost exactly 10 years since pianist Andrew Von Oeyen made his debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra with then Music Director Christopher Seaman.  Now, Maestro Seaman is Conductor Laureate for the RPO, and Andrew Von Oeyen has a new recording contract with Warner Brothers.

They're back together again, and made a trip to the WXXI studios to chat with Music Director Julia Figueras about their concert, the decade past, and the dangers of pushing young talent too hard and too soon.

Sad news...

Oct 2, 2016
BBC News

Sad news today, as the classical world has lost an icon.   

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