Classical Conversations

Browse our audio archive of conversations with classical music artists and radio personalities. WGTE Program Director Brad Cresswell speaks with some of today's greatest musicians about their latest recordings and performances.

  • Rachel Barton Pine: Mozart Concertos

    Violinist Rachel Barton Pine discusses her latest album, a collaboration with legendary conductor Sir Neville Marriner for all five of Wolfgang Mozart's violin concertos.

    Interview by Brad Cresswell, listen above via our media player.

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  • Liechtenstein Academy Musicians on FM 91

    This weekend, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra plays host to several young artists from the International Music Academy of Liechtenstein in a program at the Peristyle. Five of these stellar young artists join us in the studio for conversation and performance.

    Hosted by Brad Cresswell. Listen via our media player, above.

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  • Alisa Weilerstein: Solo

    Cellist Alisa Weilerstein joins us to talk about her newest album, called Solo, which features music for unaccompanied cello by Kodaly, Golijov, Cassadó and others.

    Interview by Brad Cresswell, Listen above via our media player.

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  • Mason Bates: Jurassic Concerto

    Chicago Symphony Orchestra composer-in-residence Mason Bates joins us to talk about his Violin Concerto, written for (and recently recorded by) violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. Inspired by Jurassic themes, the concerto takes as its subject the ancient link between dinosaurs and birds, the Archaeopteryx. Interview by Brad Cresswell. Listen via our media player, above.

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  • Amahl and the Night Visitors at BGSU

    Opera instructor Kevin Bylsma and conductor Emily Freeman Brown join us to preview Bowling Green State University's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, which opens this weekend at the Donnell Theatre.

    Interview by Brad Cresswell. Listen via our media player, above.

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  • Anne Akiko Meyers: The American Masters

    Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers joins us to preview her newest album, which features two world-premieres: Mason Bates' Jurassic-inspired violin concerto, and the exquisite Lullaby for Natalie by John Corigliano. Also included is Samuel Barber's seminal Violin Concerto, a work with which Anne made her recording debut at the age of 18.

    Interview by Brad Cresswell. Listen via our media player, above.

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  • Project Trio: Chamber Music Rock Stars

    A chamber group with classical roots, Project Trio's music is flavored with a unique classical/rock/jazz aesthetic which has garnered millions of followers from around the world. The Brooklyn-based band is currently in town for a residency at BGSU, and they stopped by the WGTE-FM studios for conversation and performance (listen via our media player, above).

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  • Toledo Opera's "Tosca": Michael Capasso

    Director and Opera Impresario Michael Capasso (pictured) joins us for a conversation about Puccini's operatic thriller Tosca, which he directs for Toledo Opera. We also hear Tosca excerpts featuring his favorite singers, and hear a preview of his Opera Extra talk about one of history's greatest singers, called Composers, Caricatures and Concubines: The Fascinating Life of Enrico Caruso.

  • Celebration of the Violin: Stephanie Arado

    We're joined by Dr. Penny Thompson Kruse, Professor of Violin at Bowling Green State University, to hear about their year-long residency and concert series called Celebration of the Violin.

    Also, guest violinist Stephanie Arado (pictured) and pianist Laura Melton perform Mozart in our studio and talk about their September 23rd recital at BGSU's Bryan Recital Hall.

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  • Thomas Rosenkranz and Gregory Fulkerson: Beyond Minimalism

    Pianist Tom Rosenkranz discusses his latest recital project, in which he teams up with violinist Greg Fulkerson for both established modern works and newly-minted commissions for violin and piano.

    Beyond Minimalism premieres Tuesday, September 16 at 8:00 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Bowling Green State University.

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  • Time For Three

    Crossover string trio Time for Three (Zach De Pue, Ranaan Meyer, and Nick Kendall) joins us for a conversation about their latest album, which features their own mash-ups and arrangements of popular contemporary music as well as performances by guest musicians.

    Buy "Time for Three" at ->>

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  • ZOFO: Zoforbit

    The ZOFO piano duet (Eva-Maria Zimmermann & Keisuke Nakagoshi) join us for a preview of their latest album, which features outer space-themed works by Gustav Holst, George Crumb, David Lang and Urmas Sisask.

    Purchase Zoforbit on ->
    Visit ZOFO's website ->

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  • Cypress String Quartet: Schubert

    The San Francisco-based Cypress String Quartet takes on the remarkable string quintet of Franz Schubert in their new album, joining forces with the eminent cellist Gary Hoffman. Two members of the ensemble join us to sample the disk and to talk about what makes this music so special.


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  • Angèle Dubeau: Blanc

    Violinist Angèle Dubeau talks with WGTE's Brad Cresswell about her new album, Blanc (white), a project born of her recent struggle with breast cancer.

    For each album sold on, $2 will be given to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

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  • Duo Gazzana: modern music with ancient ties

    In their latest CD, violinist Natascia Gazzana and her sister, pianist Raffaella Gazzana tie together an ecletic group of modern composers through works which look to the past.

    Visit Duo Gazzana's website:
    Order the CD at Poulenc/Walton/Dallapiccola/Schnittke/Silvestrov

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  • Quartetto di Cremona: Beethoven

    One of the leading chamber ensembles of their generation, the Quartetto di Cremona has just released the second volume in their complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets. WGTE's Brad Cresswell chats with violist Simone Gramalia about the music on this disc, including the "Razumovsky No. 2," one of Beethoven's best-known and most original works.

    Purchase Ludwig van Beethoven: Complete String Quartets, Vol. 2 at

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  • Bernard Uzan: Faust comes to Toledo

    Operatic factotum Bernard Uzan has been a General Director, Artistic Director, Stage Director, Artist Manager, Set Designer, Librettist, Actor, and most recently, published Novelist. Now he brings his modern take on Gounod's Faust to the stage of Toledo Opera.

  • Chiara String Quartet: Brahms by Heart

    Two members of the much-acclaimed Chiara String Quartet join us for a chat about their latest album, Brahms by Heart — which captures on disc their remarkable practice of performing completely from memory.
    Purchase Brahms by Heart at -->

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  • Jonas Kaufmann: Winter Journey

    Star tenor Jonas Kaufmann discusses his latest release: Franz Schubert's psychologically intense song cycle, Winterreise (Winter Journey).

    Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch: Die Winterreise on ->

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  • Sandro Russo: Scarlatti Recreated

    Pianist Sandro Russo discusses his fascinating album of works inspired by the keyboard sonatas of Italian Baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti. Listen via our media player, above.

    visit Sandro Russo's official website -->

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  • Jason Vieaux: Play

    Guitarist Jason Vieaux joins us for a preview of his latest album, called Play, just released on the Azica Records label. Listen via our media player, above.

    --> Order Play at

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  • Kirill Gerstein: The Brahms Project in Toledo

    In advance of his concerts with the Toledo Symphony Feb. 28 and March 1, star pianist Kirill Gerstein talks with WGTE's Brad Cresswell about the piano concertos of Johannes Brahms.
    Listen via our media player, above.


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  • Daniil Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital

    Still in his early twenties, Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has conquered many of the world's finest concert halls and performed with the most prestigious orchestras. He joins us to discuss his latest album, a live concert recording of his Carnegie Hall recital debut. Listen via our media player, above.

    Purchase Daniil Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital at
    Visit Daniil Trifonov's website

  • Simone Dinnerstein: Bach Inventions and Sinfonias

    Star pianist Simone Dinnerstein once more tops the classical charts with the music of Bach. This time, it's Inventions and Sinfonias. She joins WGTE's Brad Cresswell for a chat about what makes these pieces so special. Listen to the audio archive via our media player, above.

    Purchase Inventions and Sinfonias at »
    Visit Simone Dinnerstein's website »

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  • Avi Avital: Between Worlds

    In 2012, mandolin player Avi Avital made a splash with his first DG release, an all-Bach album. Now he offers up a boundary-crossing release which explores the intersection between folk and classical, called "Between Worlds." Fresh off his Carnegie Hall recital debut, the artist speaks with WGTE's Brad Cresswell about the new recording, which came out earlier this month.

    AviAvital: Between Worlds on »

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  • Joshua Bell and Friends: Musical Gifts

    Joshua Bell offers up a new album of musical holiday gifts, featuring a wide variety of special guests. The star violinist joins WGTE's Brad Cresswell for a preview. Listen via our media player, above.

    » Buy Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends at

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  • Hélène Grimaud: Brahms Concertos

    Pianist Hélène Grimaud talks with WGTE's Brad Cresswell about her latest release: an exciting new recording of Brahms' two piano concertos. Andris Nelsons conducts both performances, recorded live in concert with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Listen via our media player, above.

    Purchase Hélène Grimaud: Brahms Concertos at

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  • Bob Bernhardt on FM 91

    We visit with acclaimed conductor Robert (Bob) Bernhardt, musical director and conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, and the principal pops conductor of the Louisville Orchestra.

  • Rachel Barton Pine: Mendelssohn & Schumann Violin Concertos

    The wonderful violinist Rachel Barton Pine joins WGTE's Brad Cresswell for a chat about her latest album, which includes violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Schumann, along with the violin romances of Beethoven.

    Shop Mendelssohn & Schumann: Violin Concertos at

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  • Michelle Makarski and Keith Jarrett: Bach Violin Sonatas

    Violinist Michelle Makarski talks with WGTE's Brad Cresswell about her new collaboration with pianist Keith Jarrett for ECM records: the six violin sonatas of Johann Sebastian Bach.

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  • Philippe Quint and Lily Maisky: Opera Breve

    Violinist Philippe Quint and pianist Lily Maisky have just released a standout album of operatic arrangements and transcriptions, called "Opera Breve." Both artists join WGTE's Brad Cresswell to talk about their collaboration, which includes some seldom-heard jewels of the repertoire.

    Visit Philippe's website at
    Download tracks or pre-order the CD at

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  • Toledo Opera's Aida: Singers Roundtable

    Stars of Toledo Opera's upcoming production of Verdi's Aida join WGTE's Brad Cresswell in the studio for conversation and music. Featured are soprano Othalie Graham (Aida - pictured), tenor Antonello Palombi (Radames), and baritone Mark Rucker (Amonasro).

    More information at

  • Christopher O'Riley on FM 91

    WGTE's Brad Cresswell talks with pianist and NPR personality Christopher O'Riley about living in Ohio, his love of cats, 14 years of hosting From the Top and his latest CD releases.

    From the Top is taping at BGSU on Sept. 28! Click here for details.

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  • Views: 2 "Exploring Music" on Demand

    Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin reaches an estimated 500,000 listeners around the globe through its daily broadcasts (which are heard weekday mornings at 11 on WGTE-FM). Now the program is offering its treasure trove of audio archives to the public for on-demand listening through its website.

    Host Bill McGlaughlin joins WGTE's Brad Cresswell to talk about this new and exciting chapter in the program's development. Listen to the conversation via our media player, above.

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  • Bill McGlaughlin on FM 91 (video)

    Performer, conductor, composer, and radio personality Bill McGlaughlin visits the FM 91 studios for a conversation with WGTE's Brad Cresswell. Watch the video archive!

  • Views: 1 Rachel Barton Pine: Violin Lullabies

    Acclaimed violinist Rachel Barton Pine's musical tastes run deep, from Classical and Baroque to Rock and Heavy Metal. In her latest recording, Pine returns to her roots, with music she first heard sung to her by her mother - and which she is now passing along to her own infant daughter. WGTE's Brad Cresswell talks with Pine about her new CD of "Violin Lullabies."

    > Violin Lullabies at

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  • Views: 154 New York Polyphony on FM 91

    WGTE's Brad Cresswell talks with bass-baritone Craig Phillips (pictured front and center), a founding member of the highly acclaimed all-male quartet New York Polyphony.

    Listen to the interview via our media player, above.

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  • Views: 168 Listen on Demand: Michael Capasso

    Opera impresario Michael Capasso, in town to direct Toledo Opera's "La Boheme," talks with WGTE's Brad Cresswell about opera composer Giacomo Puccini and his three great loves: beautiful women, duck hunting, and music (in that order).

    Capasso is founder and General Director of New York's reknowned Dicapo Opera Theatre, a professional, non-profit company that produces repertoire ranging from the traditional to the rarely performed, with at least one 20th-century work each season.

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  • Samuel Ramey on FM 91 (video)

    Opera legend Sam Ramey joins us in the WGTE studios for an extended chat about his life and career. Watch the video archive!

  • Views: 316 Listen on Demand: Pianist Martina Filjak

    One of the most exciting young artists to emerge in recent years, pianist Martina Filjak joins WGTE's Brad Cresswell in the studio to talk about her season-opening performances of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Toledo Symphony.

    Filjak is garnering international praise for her poetic passion and technical mastery at the keyboard as well as for her charismatic personality and magnetic stage presence.

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  • Views: 132 Wonkak Kim: Devienne Sonatas

    Clarinetist Wonkak Kim talks with us about his new CD of sonatas by 18th century French composer Francois Devienne.

    Wonkak Kim's official website »
    Devienne: Clarinet Sonatas at »

  • Views: 72 Toledo Opera: Turandot

    WGTE's Brad Cresswell interviews soprano Amy Yekel and tenor Adam Herskowitz, stars of Toledo Opera's upcoming production of Puccini's "Turandot."

  • Views: 144 CD Spotlight: "Air" - The Bach Album

    Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers talks with WGTE's Brad Cresswell about her latest release, a collection of favorites by J.S. Bach.

    Preview "Air" on Anne Akiko Meyers' website (includes sound and video clips):

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  • Views: 134 Sharon Isbin and Friends: Guitar Passions

    Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin won the Grammy Award last year for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance. Now she has a new CD out which pays tribute to her own favorite guitarists. WGTE's Brad Cresswell reports (listen via our audio player at right).

    Order Guitar Passions on

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  • Views: 220 Angèle Dubeau: John Adams Portrait

    Violinist Angèle Dubeau talks with WGTE's Brad Cresswell about her newest CD release, a portrait of American composer John Adams.

    John Adams: Portrait » »

  • Views: 267 Ray Chen: Virtuoso

    Violinist Ray Chen talks with Brad Cresswell about his whirlwind career and the release of his debut album on Sony Classical, entitled Virtuoso.

    Listen to the full interview via WGTE's media player, at right.

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  • Kayhan Kalhor: Master of Persian Music

    We're joined in the studio by one of the world's most acclaimed masters of classical Kurdish and Persian music, Iranian Kamancheh player and composer Kayhan Kalhor.


  • Views: 308 Simone Dinnerstein - Bach: A Strange Beauty

    Star pianist Simone Dinnerstein talks with Brad Cresswell about her new chart-topping CD, Bach: A Strange Beauty.

    Visit Simone Dinnerstein's website »
    Bach: A Strange Beauty at »

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  • Views: 148 Jane Eaglen: Romance of the Ring

    Superstar Wagnerian soprano Jane Eaglen has performed in the world's greatest opera houses and in front of the world's most famous orchestras. In February, she comes to Toledo to give a pre-performance talk at the 2011 Toledo Opera Gala, which features an all-Wagner program.

    Ms. Eaglen recently spoke by phone with WGTE's Brad Cresswell, to talk about her love affair with the operas of Richard Wagner, her first Ring Cycle, and more. Listen to the full interview via WGTE's media player, at right.

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  • Views: 158 Charles Coleman: American Portrait

    Composer Charles Coleman talks with Brad Cresswell about two of his orchestral works, which are featured on a new CD release from Paavo Järvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

    Listen to interview audio excerpts via WGTE's Media Player, at right.

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  • Views: 64 Angèle Dubeau: Portrait

    Violinist Angèle Dubeau talks with Brad Cresswell about her latest CD release, a portrait of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

    Listen to the full interview via WGTE's audio player (above, or at right). Also, buy/download Arvo Pärt: Portrait from and part of your purchase goes to support Public Radio!

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