Radio Program Manager and Music Director Brad Cresswell is the host of "Afternoon Classics" every weekday from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., and "Live from FM 91," heard at 10:00 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. He also is the producer and host of "WGTE in Concert," which airs Thursday evenings at 8:00 p.m.
An award-winning producer; programmer, and music host, Brad came to WGTE in 2009 from NPR's flagship radio station, WNYC in New York. In addition to programming and hosting music shows on WNYC, Brad oversaw the creation of that station's 24/7 classical music service on the Internet and HD Radio, "WNYC2" (now WQXR's popular "Q2" channel).
As a contributing producer at WNYC, Brad was a co-recipient of the first ASCAP Deems Taylor Multimedia Award in 2007. He also stage-managed several live radio broadcasts from Carnegie Hall, including those by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as Sir Paul McCartney's oratorio "Ecce Cor Meum."
During his time in New York, Brad freelanced with the Metropolitan Opera radio department, and wrote dozens of scripts for their weekly broadcasts on Sirius Satellite Radio. He continues to appear regularly as host of the popular Opera Quiz feature during the Met's Saturday matinee broadcasts, which are heard on over 300 radio stations world-wide.
Some of Brad's other professional activities include authoring a feature article for Carnegie Hall's "Playbill" program magazine, and performing voice-over work for HBO and Cinemax, as well as for several nationally-syndicated Public Radio programs, including "Radiolab" and "Studio 360."
He's also ventured into composition, with performances of his work reaching venues throughout the United States — including New York's Weill Recital Hall, where his music was characterized as "striking" by chief classical music critic Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times.
In 2004, Brad wrote the music and designed the sound for a multimedia updating of Dante's "Inferno," entitled "Hell," which opened New York City's famed Rubin Museum of Art. The piece was subsequently revived for a series of performances at New York University's home for Italian studies, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò.
Before entering public radio, Brad enjoyed an 18-year career as an operatic tenor, and performed leading roles with many important opera companies, including the New York City Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; San Francisco Opera; Washington Opera, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
During that time, he worked alongside many luminaries in the field, including conductors Leonard Bernstein; Seiji Ozawa; Michael Tilson Thomas; Julius Rudel; Christian Thielemann; Antonio Pappano, and Dennis Russell Davies; singers Placido Domingo (who personally selected Brad to be his understudy on multiple occasions); Bryn Terfel; René Pape; Samuel Ramey; Jessye Norman; Catherine Malfitano, and Christa Ludwig, and composers Philip Glass; Anthony Davis; Lee Hoiby; Dominick Argento; Sir Michael Tippett, and Luciano Berio.
A graduate of Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, Brad studied at both the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and the St. Louis Conservatory of Music, and spent two years in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's young artist program, the Center for American Artists. Brad also spent two summers as a Vocal Fellow with the prestigious Tanglewood Institute in the Berkshires, where he studied under the legendary soprano Phyllis Curtin. In 1990, Brad was the youngest of several distinguished alumni invited to perform on a gala concert for the 50th anniversary of the Tanglewood Music Center.
During his time at Tanglewood, Brad was a featured performer on the star-studded "Bernstein at 70!" concert hosted by Beverly Sills and broadcast live on PBS's "Great Performances" series (with subsequent broadcasts throughout Europe). In addition to several other appearances on the "Great Performances" series, Brad can be heard on commercial classical recordings issued by the London, Philips, New World, Innova, and Carlton Classics record labels.
Brad currently lives with his wife Jennifer in her hometown of Temperance, Michigan, with their two young children Elliott and Brenda.