Classical 91.5

Mona Seghatoleslami

Afternoon host

Mona Seghatoleslami is the host and producer on WXXI Classical 91.5 FM weekdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. She also hosts the lunchtime concert series Live From Hochstein Wednesdays at 12:10 p.m., interviews musicians, produces special programs, and works on any project she can find that helps connect people and music in our community through WXXI.

Mona is originally from New Jersey; she ventured out to the Midwest for college, where studied viola at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. She got her start in radio at WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana while in grad school studying musicology and library science at Indiana University. She also spent a few years as a radio announcer and producer in West (by God) Virginia, where she also wrote for the Charleston Gazette and taught American music at West Virginia State University.

When she’s not on the radio, you can find Mona attending concerts and movies, playing viola in community orchestras, occasionally strumming the ukulele, riding her bike everywhere, and reading as much as she can – especially The New Yorker and sci-fi novels. She also books the bands for one of the coolest live music venues in Rochester – The Little Theatre Café.

Ways to Connect

First Presbyterian Church in Lyons is a community gathering place noted for hosting ecumenical events and musical performances.  The church also has a beautiful old pipe organ that has fallen on hard times - a Skinner and Son organ from the 1920s.

One of my favorite little things about Rochester that I discovered after moving here is that we had busts of Goethe and Schiller around town.  Sadly, Goethe was stolen a few years ago from Highland Park, never to be seen again. But we still have Friedrich Schiller, best known to music fans as the writer of the words to the Ode to Joy, used by Beethoven in the finale of his ninth symphony.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What convention strictly divides;
All people become brothers,
Where your gentle wing abides.

Today, as I biked by, I had to stop – because Schiller had some artistic company, right next to his little park on Andrews Street. Fiber art (yarnbombing?) by someone who knew his musical connections. The lighting was a little blah this morning, but still – hope these make you smile too. 
 

As part of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, a big band of 25 musicians from the Eastman School of Music will play jazz movie scores. Emmy-winning composer Mark Watters, who has been at Eastman for a year now as the director of the Beal Institute for film music and contemporary media will conduct the performances. 

Listen here to a conversation with Mark Watters about composing for movies, TV, and video games - as well as more about the history of jazz at the movies, this week's program at the jazz festival, and his work teaching at Eastman.  

After having so much fun researching and speaking about the music that surrounded Queen Victoria, in her personal and public life, I have decided to create a Spotify playlist of some of that music.  It's a crazy anachronism, I know, but if I put it on a wax cylinder or one of Edison's machines, I don't think it would be as useful for you. 

Join WXXI, Classical 91.5 host Brenda Tremblay, and the WXXI Music Stand as we participate in Make Music Day, a free celebration of music around the world.

Brenda and the music stand will be parked at Granite Mills at High Falls at 11 a.m. where she’ll perform a song or two and hope you’ll join her. You can sign up for a performance time slot at the Make Music Rochester website.

Join Classical 91.5's Mona Seghatoleslami at Granite Mills Park in High Falls for Hochstein at High Falls, a free lunchtime concert series, presented by High Falls Business Association, Hochstein School of Music & Dance, WXXI, and Monroe Community College (MCC). Mona welcomes a new band to the park each week. Please note: This is a live concert series, and will not be broadcast on WXXI radio.

Concerts begin at 12:10 pm at the Granite Mills Park near the Pont de Rennes Bridge. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own seating and lunch, or pick up a lunch at the many area restaurants. Each performance will run approximately 50 minutes. New this year: the rain location is at MCC’s downtown campus and in the event of rain, the change in venue will be announced via social media. Note that the June 14 concert is scheduled to take place at MCC as a special campus event. 

 

On Thursday, May 24, we're inviting the community to come celebrate The Little Theatre's past, and invest in its future! The Little's historic theater 1 will be under restoration May 29 to October 1, 2018, but before the renovation, we're gathering our members, friends, and neighbors for a night of pure Little joy. 

To hear a concert by pianist Tony Caramia is to hear beautiful and unexpected music. He follows his intuition, chance, a ravenous curiosity and a good ear into some wonderful musical discoveries, that open up new worlds for listeners – as well as for the students he teaches at Eastman. 

On Live from Hochstein this afternoon, Caramia is playing music that stands out for its lovely harmonies – and playful energy -  in a program called “Syncopated Sounds from Germany.” Listen above to hear him introduce you to Ernest Fischer, Erwin Schulhoff, Lothar Perl, and others.  

Lawrence Johnson: classical guitarist, retired city bus driver, composer, and passionate civil rights advocate.

To have a conversation with Lawrence Johnson is an opportunity to become acquainted with a fascinating person, while also getting an overview of the evolution of classical guitar in American musical life during the second half of the 20th century.  The impact of Segovia, the ways that many classical musicians didn’t take the guitar seriously, and the change in the approach and appreciation of classical guitar music – that’s all in there, along with trading a Volkswagon for a tape deck, late night bus runs with a guitar, and Greenwich village in the 1960s.

Whether you have a few minutes to spend with him...

Cellist Stefan Reuss recently stopped by WXXI's studios to discuss his experiences playing chamber music at the Rochester Academy of Medicine for twenty years, in a trio that includes pianist Rebecca Penneys and violinist Mikhail Kopelman. We also discussed the trio's upcoming performance this week on Live from Hochstein

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