Thursday, April 26, 2007

Still Shunning American Classical Music, Classical WETA-FM Lite, In Nation's Capital, To Program Saturday Operas From American Companies Year-Round

"Classical WETA-FM (90.9) has decided to air opera year-round, expanding upon its current Saturday afternoon broadcasts of Metropolitan Opera performances during the December-May season, the Arlington public radio station said yesterday.

"Classical WETA Opera House," debuting on May 12, will air productions from five major national companies, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera and, of course [sic], the Washington National Opera. The program will air during the same slot as the Metropolitan broadcasts at 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

"Opera House" will kick off with a broadcast of Giacomo Puccini's "Turandot" as performed by the Lyric Opera of Chicago." ...

Kara Rowland "WETA expands opera lineup" Washington Times April 25, 2007


Last week in Berkeley, California, in one single hour of public radio listening, I heard classical music by three living classical composers: Jake Heggie [sung by Frederica von Stade], Ricky Ian Gordon, and Vladimír Godár [performed by Iva Bittová].

I also heard, on public classical radio, San Francisco conductor Michael Tilson Thomas's The MTT Files [from American Public Radio and the San Francisco Symphony] program on Stravinsky; and a delayed broadcast, by the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, of Stravinsky's Divertimento from The Fairy's Kiss and Symphony in Three Movements, and Tchaichovky's first attempt at a symphony -- his Winter Daydreams [Symphony #1].

All of these three works -- along with similarly public radio broadcast works by Kissine, Takemitsu, Aho, Ades, and Piazolla -- are too new and unusual for Sharon Rockefeller's currently constituted, Luddite Classical WETA-FM Lite, in the Nation's Capital. [San Francisco Symphony Program Notes]

Classical and new classical music artists Frederica von Stade and Iva Bittova, above, are good enough for classical music lovers around the world; but not good enough for Sharon Rockefeller's new Classical WETA-FM Lite, in the Nation's Capital.

What national American classical culture an older generation of the Rockefeller family gave to the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums [the De Young Museum's Rockefeller Collection of American Art] and the Nation, has been taken away by Sharon Rockefeller, Dan De Vany, and Jim Allison of the new, American classical music disdaining, Classical WETA-FM Lite, in the Nation's Capital.

National Gallery of Art, American Painting Galleries

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Celebrating 20 Years

Photo credits: (c) Hans Fahnmayer and; and Prague Radio and With thanks.


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