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.

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.


Guitar and violin are an elegant combination, heard from the drawing rooms of the classical era to the concert halls of today. On this month's Backstage Pass WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras welcomes Red Creek Duo--violinist An-Chi Lin and guitarist Anton Machleder--into the Epstein Studio to explore the union of these stringed things. Friday, February 24 at 1 PM. Repeats Sunday, February 26 at 1 PM.


http://www.esm.rochester.edu/trombone/trombone-choir/#jp-carousel-245

What happens if you find 24 trombonists in one room? In Rochester, it means you sit down and enjoy a concert with the Eastman Trombone Choir.

The choir, now in its 75th year, has played around the country and around the world, but never on Backstage Pass. Conductors Mark Kellogg and Larry Zalkind rectify that when they bring the Trombone Choir to Studio A for a performance and chat with host Julia Figueras. Expect the unexpected on Tuesday, January 31 at 1 PM.  The show will repeat at 1 PM on Sunday, February 5.


Cellist Julian Schwarz has just been named to the faculty of Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia.

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.

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