Classical 91.5

Backstage Pass

Monthly, 1 to 2 pm, days vary, on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXY 90.3, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1 and online at wxxi.org

Backstage Pass is a monthly live performance program which highlights performances by local and visiting musicians, giving Classical 91.5/90.3 listeners the backstage experience of meeting the artists “up close and personal.”  Several times each year, Backstage Pass is performed before a live audience of sustaining members.  

The series’ production team includes WXXI-FM Music Director and host Julia Figueras, Supervising Audio Engineer Andrew Croucher, and Executive Producer Jeanne Fisher.

In 2007, 2015, and 2017, Backstage Pass won Finalist Awards from the New York Festivals, and in 2009 it brought home a Bronze Medal from that international media competition.

http://www.publickmusick.org/

‘Tis the season for our Holiday Backstage Pass! This year, we’ll travel back to the Italian Baroque for music of Christmas past. Soprano Ekaterina Gorlova and the Publick Musick join host Julia Figueras with works by Pasquini, Durante, Corelli, and more.   Celebrate the season with us, Baroque style, on Friday December 8 at 1 PM on Classical 91.5.

It's our biggest Backstage Pass of the year...really!  Your Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra--all 84 of 'em--comes to our studio to play Faure, Respighi, and more.  RPYO Music Director James Mick, Orchestra Manager Irene Narotsky and Board Chair Dave Lane, mentors Wesley Nance and Lars Kirvan from yourRPO, and students Joyce Luo and Trevor Healy will all have conversations with host Julia Figueras in between jaw-dropping performances by this outstanding orchestra. Friday, November 10 at 1 PM. The program repeats on Sunday, November 12 at 1 PM.


Photo: Eastman School of Music

Pianist Rebecca Penneys taught at the Eastman School of Music for almost 4 decades. As of this semester, she holds the title of Professor Emerita of Piano. Miss Penneys--who appeared on Backstage Pass in March of this year in a celebration of the Salon Concert Series--joins host Julia Figueras for a look back at her time at the school and a look forward, as she talks about how her new life is growing out of her Eastman days. Works by Soler, Scarlatti, Brahms, and Chopin are in the musical mix. Tune in for this special salute on Monday, October 23 at 1 PM.

Photo by Arthur Moeller / www.jensenartists.com

The Neave Trio has graced both Rochester stages and our airwaves-twice as guests of Live from Hochstein. This is your chance to hear them talk!

Every summer, the Kanack School of Music offers a series of summer music programs for musicians spanning the ages from ages 4 to 18, teaching everything from classical to contradance. On the next Backstage Pass, Julia Figueras welcomes Executive Director Alice Kanack and Artistic Director Andrew Barnhart, as they bring in some of their best and brightest to show us what they've got! Find out about this hidden gem of a music school on Wednesday, July 26 at 1 PM. You can catch the encore Sunday, July 30 at 1 PM.


Pianist Stewart Goodyear in a row of piano frames
photo by Andrew Garn

For the first time ever, Backstage Pass is taking its show on the road, and you're invited! 

In celebration of the Gateways Music Festival, Julia Figueras hosts Backstage Pass live from Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre with the entire GMF orchestra, guest artists, and a live audience.  Music Director Michael Morgan, RPO trumpeter Herb Smith, pianist Stewart Goodyear, and violinist Amadi Azikiwe are among the guests who will chat with Julia, along with GMF President and Artistic Director Lee Koonce and Eastman School of Music Dean Jamal Rossi.


Almost 10 years ago, tenor Gregory Kunde and Linda Wojciechowski sang sacred songs together for our first ever holiday Backstage Pass. Since then, Gregory Kunde's opera career has taken off--especially in Europe. On the next Backstage Pass, the couple returns to sing and to chat with host Julia Figueras about all that has happened...and what could be next. The show was recorded on June 2. An encore edition can be heard on Sunday, June 4  at 1 PM.


Photo: Eastman School of Music

Backstage Pass

May 2, 2017

Bassist James VanDemark is in his 40th year as a professor at the Eastman School of Music. Generations of his students have gone on to great careers as performers and teachers... and sometimes as doctors. On this edition of Backstage Pass, James and some of his students past and present join producer and host Julia Figueras to discuss his remarkable achievements on the stage and in the studio over the last 4 decades.

Visit the Backstage Pass program page.


Now that the Amenda Quartet has finished the Beethoven cycle, it's moving on to two other B's: Bartok and Brahms.  On the next Backstage Pass, the quartet--violinists David Brickman and Patricia Sunwoo, violist Melissa Matson, and cellist Mimi Hwang--are joined by world-class clarinetist Jon Manasse for an hour of chamber music and chat and with host Julia Figueras. Friday, April 7 at 1 PM. The show repeats on Sunday, April 9 at 1 PM.


For 2 decades, pianist Rebecca Penneys, violinist Mikhail Kopelman, and cellist Stefan Reuss have made beautiful music together in the Salon Concert series. On Friday, March 31 at 1 PM, the trio joins host Julia Figueras to talk about this remarkable series and what has kept it going for all these years. Fittingly, this season has featured works by musical friends; works by Brahms and Dvorak will be featured on this edition of Backstage Pass.  The show will repeat on Sunday, April 2 at 1 PM.


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