As the leaves burst into the colors of autumn, WGBH's classical music service moves into the new season and beyond with a new name: Classical New England, reflecting a growing service that includes 99.5 Boston-NH, 89.7 HD-2 Boston, 96.3 Beacon Hill, 89.5 Nantucket, and, through a new relationship with Bryant University, 88.7 Providence.
With our new name, a new weekday schedule brings you more hours of local voices and music, and expanded Boston Symphony Orchestra coverage enlivens your weekends as never before.
Laura Carlo welcomes you to the day with a lively mix of classical music, beginning at 5am and now staying with you for the morning hours until 10am. Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart continues to bring his own impressions and knowledge to Keith's Classical Corner each morning at 8:30.
Alan McLellan joins you at 10am with great classics for the heart of the day. At noon, you'll hear a new segment we call Café Europa, with recent, unique, and commercially unavailable concert performances from Berlin's Philharmonie, Vienna's Musikverein, London's Barbican Center, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and other great concert halls of Europe.
At 2pm Cathy Fuller brings you her signature warmth and charm, offering a perfect accompaniment to the late afternoon and early evening. Members of Boston's vibrant musical community as well as visiting artists from around the world join Cathy in our Fraser Performance Studio each Friday for Drive Time Live, connecting you with the spontaneity of live performance. In addition, listen for Cathy each Sunday at 6pm on Arias and Barcarolles.
At 7pm, Classical New England welcomes Performance Today to the airwaves. Host Fred Child brings you concert performances from around the world, along with interviews and features that offer unique insight into the music and today's great performers.
James David Jacobs takes over the nighttime mic at 9pm, Monday-Thursday, with a unique blend of music old, new, and unexpected, and guaranteed to be an ideal late-night companion. On Fridays at 9pm, enjoy the nation's only bilingual classical music program, Concierto, as host Frank Dominguez invites you into the world of classical music as reflected by Latin American composers and performers.
Our 60 year relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra continues and deepens, with live broadcasts of every Saturday evening performance by the BSO with host Ron Della Chiesa, now repeated on Sunday afternoons at 1pm, following New England Summer Festivals. In addition, BSO concerts will be available for on demand listening at our BSO Tanglewood Channel, where you can hear the BSO 24/7.
On weekdays, listen for BSO broadcast producer Brian Bell in previews of upcoming concerts, and Brian's encyclopedic knowledge of BSO history as heard on BSO on Record can now be heard twice as much, with two episodes airing each Saturday night beginning at 10pm, following our live BSO broadcasts.
Brian McCreath continues to host The Bach Hour on Sundays at 6am and 5pm, and listen for his features, stories, and interviews in regular arts and culture reports from around the region, to be heard on weekdays and weekends.
The Classical New England staff also expands with the addition of Music Director Cheryl Willoughby. A public broadcasting veteran, Willoughby comes to WGBH from Vermont Public Radio, where she served as Music Director and Director of Programming for VPR Classical.
See our complete schedule below:
david commented on 10.20.11
I agree with the comments that there's too much talk on air now, not enough music. And, despite the takeover of the broadcast service of the Bryant College student radio station to cover Providence, still no coverage for significant parts of greater Boston. The Frederick Collection of early pianos is a hidden delight - greater exposure via 'CRB would be welcome and worthwhile, but its neglect is only a minor failing of 'CRB. This summer's coverage of all of the BSO weekend concerts was a welcome return to what WCRB always did before the 'GBH takeover (and to what 'GBH did in the past).
Henry commented on 10.14.11
John makes some valid comments about the new programming, and I agree about the amazing Frederick Collection in Ashburnham. I was fortunate enough to attend a recent performance on an 1877 Erard Piano from the collection given by Junghwa Lee, who played two Nocturnes of Gabriel Fauré, "Le Tombeau de Couperin" by Maurice Ravel, and Franz Liszt's Sonata in b minor. Ms. Lee demonstrated her amazing technique and played exquisitely, with a tone and power befitting an instrument of that vintage, in a hall with such fine acoustics. She also demonstrated her complete mastery of the programme and instrument by playing the whole concert from memory. It has been many years since I've witnessed such ear (and eye) opening virtuosity in a live performance. One doesn't have to go all the way to Boston to hear fine live music in New England! - Wil Davis
John commented on 10.14.11
Where do I begin... There's nothing wrong with change, which in many cases is a good thing for everyone, but I can sadly say I am very disappointed in the programming now. The new Performance Today sounds like any commercial radio station. The choice of music, the play up and repetition proceeding a performance, and the commentary is plain awful. Fred Child sounds like he's from WRKO or some other pop station. I expect him at any moment to yell out some foolish statement about someone winning something! Like the others here, I find Laura to be a bit schmaltzy. Her commentary is just too sickening sweet and to put it bluntly - trite is probably a good word for it. The extra hour is a killer for me now, and I find myself turning my radio off rather than listening to the trash. Why do you program the same stuff over and over? With nearly 600 years of music, Why do we always hear CPE Bach's third symphony, or Vaughn William's music. Oh the other favorite is Holst, and yes many of the same Rocco period composers such as Salieri, and Wagonseil. Why don't you play music from other local venues such as the Frederick Collection concerts? This is a treasure trove of unique, top quality, performances of Romantic and Classical period piano music on historical instruments. In their collection is an 1828 Bösendorfer built by Ignaz Bösendorfer; one of a few extant instruments around today. Yet this instrument is playable. The collection is only one of two in the world like it, and quite unique at that. So in summary, great idea for adding and changing. I am sad to see Cathy move to a later hours, but I understand. Talk to Laura about her tone on the radio. It really is annoying, and doesn't belong. And yes, please vary your music selection. It becomes boring and annoying to hear the same flute sonata, harp concerto, and variations on a theme by... over and over, particularly since there is at least 600 years of music to listen to today.
Merit commented on 10.14.11
I was hoping to see 1) less of Laura Carlo, instead we got one more hour of Laura Carlo. She's just too schmaltzy. 2) less of Sunday Baroque. It just grinds daggers into your brain when you're trying to read the Sunday paper. Yes, I know I can listen to my Ipod instead...
Henry commented on 10.12.11
I find James David Jacobs to be somewhat priggish, in that he seems to be instructing the listeners in order to convince them of his superior knowledge and experience, and yet he still manages to mispronounce Ludwig van Beethoven's name as von Beethoven; it is "van" (Flemish) and not "von" (German); c'mon any school kid knows that fact Mr. Jacobs. I'm finding that with the new format, the radio station seems to have a predisposition to the weather forecasts, and much more "blab" filler than it used to have. I'm at the point that I have to turn the radio off in between the rather short musical excerpts programmed these days. - hd
Sarah commented on 10.10.11
I love listening to WCRB,(99.5 or All Classical New England or whatever you call yourselves!) I am so glad you are broadcasting and to an even wider audience. I really appreciate all you do! Thank you Laura! How many people can sound perky and friendly so early in the morning? There are days when you have a lot do with me getting up and out the door in a good frame of mind. I can also see that many later morning listeners will miss Cathy Fuller in the morning. She has so many insights into the music, but as I work in the mornings, I appreciate being able to hear Cathy in the late afternoon and early evening. I really enjoy Brian McCreath’s Bach Hour he and James Davis Jacobs, both convey a genuine love for classical music. I really enjoy hearing Ray Brown on Saturday afternoons. Great voice!!! I love the live Music! The BSO, the Summer Festivals, live from Frazer! With the new programming I enjoyed the variety of pieces I heard today ( Oct 11th). Keep that variety in your programming – Baroque, Bach, vocal, harp, piano, symphony, quartets, trios, opera arias, art songs, new music young artist as well as old artists. Keep reminding us that yes composers can be alive. I have only heard McClellan once today – but yes I think there is room in the day for some beautiful music from across the pond. Keep broadcasting that great music!
Robert commented on 10.09.11
Like many others, I miss Cathy Fuller in the morning. I am also disappointed in having Alan McClellan as more than a fill-in announcer: he does not have an engaging enough radio voice. And, again like others, I miss Brian McCreath. (Though of course I do not know the reasons behind the changes, it SEEMS as if he may have been in effect demoted, which, if true, is very unfair since he is a much better announcer than either Mr. McClellan or Laura Carlo [whose tone I find effusive and patronizing and from whom we are hearing far too much now]). I disagree, however with the writer who pans James David Jacobs: I find his voice and personality quite engaging. I'd like to hear Cathy all morning, and then Brian and James in whatever order in the afternoon and evening. Fred Child's voice and manner irritate me. (But of course I understand that different listeners have different reactions to the various hosts.)
Anne commented on 10.07.11
I will miss Cathy Fuller in the morning, and wish in fact that she was in the early morning spot. She does have intelligence and style, indeed, and is savvy and sophisticated as well. I am with Judith on the subject of Laura Carlo, one day, much less six, is too many for our household, and early morning is when we most want to hear sensitive, beautiful classical music. Frequent waltzes, marches and trite and overplayed "chestnuts" have no place in the early morning - at least that is the way we see it. We will miss Brian McCreath.
Lee commented on 10.05.11
I don't understand the way playlists are set up. If you haven't already done so, see how BBC organizes theirs so that listeners can see in advance (not only during or after) listings of music to be played (and that can replayed for a week or so) Also what plans. if any, to tap into performances of the abundance of great choruses in the area from Newburyport through greater Boston to the south shore.
RICHARD commented on 10.05.11
I am sorry that Cathy Fuller has been moved to the afternoon slot as listening in the UK I wont be able to hear her so often as I enjoy her intelligence style of presentation. However that is compensated by the repeat of the BSO concert on Sunday at 1 pm. I have missed the Friday lunchtime broadcasts which dissapeared when WGBH took over WCRB
Tristan commented on 10.04.11
How utterly disappointing. James David Jacobs is the worst classical music host I have heard on any station in the country (and I have listened to many, many classical stations). He never shuts up! His nasal, pretentious, stumbling voice drones on and on when all listeners want to hear is the MUSIC. What a shame that one of the hosts he will be replacing--Bob Christiansen--is one of the best (and refreshingly succinct) classical hosts in the country. I also cannot stand the new baroque program (I agree with the previous post that Laura Carlo is a disaster); bring back Sunday Baroque! And get rid of the Spanish nonsense on Friday nights.
Roger commented on 10.04.11
99.5 - now Classical New England - just keeps getting better. Great new lineup. That said, I am sorry to lose Brian McCreath as a regular host. His Bach hour is one of the best things on the station, and his enthusiasm and sincerity make him a top host. It seems he could take over Sunday mornings. Baroque in Boston has been a wonderful addition, and Laura Carlo is very good, but 6 days a week is a lot for anyone to do. I do hope Brian returns as a host soon.
Bethany commented on 09.30.11
The best thing about 99.5 is being able to listen to classical music 24/7 . . . and the wonderful hosts who share their love for and knowledge of the music with listeners. I am a big fan of James David Jacobs show on Saturday mornings---listening to him, I learn something new that expands my knowledge or piques my curiosity. I love that he has a well thought out "theme" for the day's program. I am thrilled that he will be doing the evening broadcast as well, and I hope he maintains this "today we're going to listen to music that is . . ." approach on his evening program. Thank you, 99.5, for more "Professor J"! As an early riser, I also appreciate Laura in the morning. She is such a natural, empathetic host, and knows that her listeners are all in various stages of waking up and trying to get out of the house, into the car, onto the T, into work, or making breakfast, chasing kids off to school, and so on. I like that she mixes it up with the music, trying to cajole her audience to get up and at 'em. (Still need to doze awhile? . . . here's a wee Chopin piano piece for you. Need something to help you get out of bed? . . . here's some nice brisk Handel.) And I agree with Gary: I don't know what "serious Classical music" is either---but I do know that Laura is seriously in love with classical music and it is obvious that she adores sharing that love with her listeners. I can't imagine anyone would abandon 99.5 for any reason---where else in the area are you going to find this quality of classical public radio on the dial? I think it just is getting better and better. You are all doing a fabulous job, which is why I for one will continue to pony up with whatever contribution I can afford when fund-raising time rolls around.
Gary commented on 09.30.11
This may be the best news 99.5 WCRB/WGBH has put out all year. We long suffering fans of classical music have wanted a LOCAL host for the evening broadcasts since WGBH bought WCRB. And you could not pick a better host than James David Jacobs. If he can program this show as he does so well on Saturdays, you may start to see ratings go up, along with GBH support. I also think you may be overworking Laura Carlo as much as I like her program, and her new Sunday program. (I don't know what "serious Classical music is" but I think her daily show provides a wide variety with the time and drive time "interruptions" she has built into the show, like hourly NPR news, and weather news for her drive time listeners. However I guess everyone cannot be pleased with everything.) But, giving her fans an extra hour, as long as she wants to do it, well its fine with me. Alan McLellan is a fine new voice for the morning. Kathy Fuller is a fine choice in the PM. Yes I agree Brian McCreath will be missed. The Bach Hour is but an hour and on at odd times. But his work behind the scenes on this web site is also much appreciated, since WGBH has one of the very best web sites of any Radio Station I can think of with all the additional channels etc, news, blogs etc. You can spend an entire day here.Perhaps the WGBH Management can find a better time, a longer time for The Bach Hour and call it "The Bach Hour PLUS with Brian McCreath which could replace any NPS programming of classical music left as far as I'm concerned. And finally I am also glad to see Ray Brown still available on Saturday afternoon, and maybe occasionally elsewhere. Lara Carlo & Ray Brown have two of the best voices on radio, on any station. If I had one criticism of others at the station it is that they do not always clearly articulate into the mike. Sometimes words are running into each other as the host speaks of a piece. At least it seems to be the case in listening. But perhaps it is different mikes? Anyway all the hosts can take a lesson from Carlo & Brown who have been doing this for some time.
Richard commented on 09.30.11
Delighted that RI or parts within will now be able to receive 99.5
Judith commented on 09.30.11
Another hour of Laura Carlo in the morning is a disaster. She has no business on a serious classical music station and she's the one and only reason I will no longer be a member of this station. Brian McCreath, Kathy Fuller and James David Jacobs are all excellent and I don't understand what these changes are all about.
Ruth commented on 09.30.11
Will sorely miss Brian McCreath's live afternoon programs, both his rich, stimulating, and entertaining programming and Brian's engaging, intelligent and enriching commentary. Not to mention the opportunity to hear James David Jacobs' equally superb programs earlier in the day a few days a week. Might the Bach Hour at least show up at more convenient listening times than very early Sunday morning or at supper time on Sunday?