Classical 91.5

Relevant Tones

Saturdays, 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXY-FM 90.3 and online at, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1

Relevant Tones is a weekly exploration of the most fascinating time in classical music: right now!

Host Seth Boustead

From up-and-coming firebrands to established artists, this program celebrates the dynamic and diverse musical creations of modern-day composers from around the world.

Ways to Connect

Washington Post

This month, host Seth Bostead introduces listeners to keyboardist Kathleen Supové who is known for breaking boundaries. 10/21.

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.”

September 2017 Relevant Tones programs

Aug 27, 2017

9/2        Soundward: Time Travel Over the years pop artists have been making the transition from guitar-slaying Hair Rock to classical composers. Seth and Q2 Music’s Phil Kline feature some of these musicians, like Kip Winger, Billy Joel, Jonny Greenwood and Roger Waters. Why are they making the transition and does it work?

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.

August 2017 Relevant Tones programs

Jul 30, 2017
Christopher Rouse

This month's programs include a spotlight program with composer Christopher Rouse (8/26).

8/5        Going Solo There is perhaps no more intimate connection in music than when a composer writes a solo piece specifically for a gifted performer, crafting the piece for the player’s specific strengths and musical tastes. We’ll talk with several performers about solos works that have been written for them and feature performances of the pieces recorded live in our Levin studio.

Something New: Soundspace in Rochester

Jul 21, 2017

There’s a new “new music” company in town: Soundspace.  It is the creation of two Rochester-based musicians who are involved in projects both here at home and around the country: Jessica Best and Evan Meccarello.  The first concert is July 25th at the South Wedge Mission – and they plan more concerts bringing new music throughout the region, especially in new and unexpected venues.  Je

July 2017 Relevant Tones programs

Jun 29, 2017

7/1        Improvisation  Something of a lost art, improvisation in classical music is making a comeback in a big way thanks to composers like Steven Snowden, Don Malone, and Aaron Johnson. Teaming up with fantastic performers, they prove that improvisation very much has a place in the modern concert hall.

June 2017 Relevant Tones programs

May 28, 2017

Born in Belize, Errollyn Wallen gave up her training at the Dance Theater of Harlem, New York to study composition at the universities of London and Cambridge. Read an interview and tune in on June 17th for a Composer Spotlight.

May 2017 Relevant Tones listings

Apr 30, 2017

In Rolling Stone's List of '100 Greatest Drummers of All Time', Glenn Kotche has outfitted his drum kit extensively and creatively.  Kotche has one of the most distinctive setups in the industry, with "more sticks and homemade percussion trinkets than able to fully list".  His freedom in exploring accidental and coincidental rhythms in his personal compositions make him unlike any other drummer.  To read more and watch a video tour of Glenn's drum kit set up, click here!  

April 2017 Relevant Tones listings

Mar 26, 2017

Cambodian composer Chinary Ung has a phenomenal story: “The point is this,” Ung said. “If I did not go (to that office), and I did not take that elevator at exactly the perfect time, I would have been sent back to Cambodia (permanently).” There, he would have soon faced Pol Pot and the murderous Khmer Rouge. And with their disdain for intellectuals, Ung said, “I would be gone in no time at all.”