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

Earlier this summer, NPR Music put out a list that they called “an intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation” - The 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women. 

  Anne Midgette wrote in the Washington Post, "NPR’s recent list of the 150 greatest albums by women was inspiring — but where were the composers? In the wake of much discussion about the chronic underrepresentation of female composers on American concert programs, I came up with my own best-of list.”

Bryant Keicher

Pianist Henry Kearse has a simple mission – and an easy way to measure if he is succeeding at it.

I wish to make everyone happier, if I can, with something I can play. If I come up with a song out of the blue that means nothing to anyone, then I’ll play it once and then I’ll go on to another song.  I want audience satisfaction. That’s proven by the tip cup, silly as it sounds – if the tips are good, you’ve been a success, if they’re not there – well go home and study some more.

 

Join WXXI for Classical 91.5 Presents, a series that spotlights classical music connections in film. 

Classical 91.5 Presents...West Side Story on Saturday September 2nd, 3pm at The Little Theatre.  Join us before the movie at The Little Theatre Cafe, for live music starting at 2pm with the Empire Film Music Ensemble and stick around afterwards to talk about the movie's groundbreaking choreography and dancing in a discussion hosted by WXXI Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras.

The discussion panelists will be: Natalie Rogers (School Director/ Asst. Rehearsal Director, Garth Fagan Dance), David Palmer (Artistic Director, Rochester City Ballet), and Jenni Werner (Literary Director & Resident Dramaturg, Geva Theatre).

According to an article in The Daily News, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra is dipping its toes into the world of playing live music with movies.

Music Director Shade Zajac says that they are trying it out first on their holiday concert on December 10th – with the animated holiday classic “The Snowman” and its music by Howard Blake.

 

During our “Opera Intervention” on Connections, I promised that I would send some links to great opera productions that you can watch online. I’m still working on it!  But I thought you might enjoy this rather specific slice of opera life. 

If you teach or study a string instrument, here's something that should delight you.

For the more than 40 years that they have been playing, the Kronos Quartet has been known for innovative, fascinating new music performances.  Recently, they have taken on a project to encourage others to learn through new and experimental music. They call it: Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire.

Wikimedia Commons

While we celebrated the 300th anniversary of one of the world’s strangest gigs with Handel’s Water Music throughout the day on the radio on WXXI Classical 91.5, a few others were making a splash with some thoughts on Water Music. Here are a couple articles that caught my attention that I thought you might like too. 

Check this out: a collection of music from the 15th century was recently found in a pile of art in Brussels.
 

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest is just starting – 9 days of music in cafes, small clubs, big concert halls, free outdoor stages, recording studios, the public library, and classrooms…lunchtime concerts, afternoons and evenings of music, and late nights that spill into early mornings. There really seems to be something for every taste and approach.

Everyone will have their own list of what you should check out – and then those lists will change as everyone experience the music and discovers their new favorite sound.  You can catch up with my colleague Julia Figueras each day during Morning Edition on WXXI News (at approximately 8:43am) and then catch the Jazz Corner on WRUR at 10:30 each morning on Open Tunings with Scott Regan and Jeff Spevak.  

This is not a metaphor for your soul being transported to another realm – I’ve got physical transportation on my mind.

Now that it is spring, I’m back into biking to work pretty much every day. I’m happy to be out and riding again, even though I did appreciate the chance to read on the bus on my commute this winter. The seasonal change in my travel habits – along with thinking about how we get around as I prepare to host an event for Reconnect Rochester about transportation and sustainability – reminded me of some of my favorite music for bikes – and trains – and even cars. 

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