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Classical Conversations

Intimate conversations with world-renowned musicians, here at the Classical WETA studios.

Classical WETA's on-air hosts interview prominent classical music performers, composers and artists in this series of intimate audio conversations recorded for

Gregory Spears

Composer Gregory Spears talks about his concept for Walden, a song cycle based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau commissioned by Vocal Arts DC.  The world premiere performance is Sunday, September 16 at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, featuring Brian Mulligan and Timothy Long.

Dr. Dana Marsh (Credit: Kian McKellar)

Washington Bach Consort: Dr. Dana Marsh

Dr. Dana Marsh, director of the Historical Performance Institute at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, will succeed J. Reilly Lewis as the next Artistic Director of the Washington Bach Consort. He spoke with Classical WETA’s Bill Bukowski about his background, the Consort, and the music of Bach.

Joshua Bell and Scottish Fantasy

Joshua Bell debuts his newest CD, Scottish Fantasy, which features the first violin concerto by Max Bruch, and his Scottish Fantasy. This is the first recording Joshua Bell has ever made of the Scottish Fantasy. But, he doesn't just play the violin, he conducts the orchestra too! Find out what it's like to do both at the same time, the recording process, and what makes this recording different.

Michelle Hoffmann, Washington Performing Arts

From helping shape music curiculum in schools, to masterclasses, and adult education, Washington Performing Arts has an extensive educational and community engagement program. Michelle Hoffman is the Director of Education and Community Engagement, she tells what they are doing different to make an impact on music education in Washington. 

Emily Daggett Smith

Emily Daggett Smith performs a diverse program of music that is linked together in a way you wouldn't expect.

Lawrence Loh

Cathedral Choral Society with Lawrence Loh - Bernstein: Ode to Freedom

Classical WETA's James Jacobs talks to Lawrence Loh, who will be conducting the Cathedral Choral Society's upcoming program Bernstein: Ode to Freedom, taking place at Washington National Cathedral on Sunday, May 20, at 4:00 pm. The concert features Haydn's Mass in Time of War, Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, the finale of Beethoven's Ninth (in which  the word "Freude" [Joy] wil be replaced by "Freiheit" [Freedom]), and two works by Leonard Bernstein. Loh will discuss the historical significance of the selections as well as his own history with the Cathedral Choral Society. 

Gwendolyn Toth

Gwendolyn Toth and the Washington Bach Consort

Guest conductor Gwendolyn Toth leads the Washington Bach Consort in Bach's monumental Mass in B minor Sunday afternoon, April 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm at National Presbyterian Church. She shares her thoughts about the work and her approach to it with Classical WETA's James Jacobs.

Alistair Coleman, composer

Alistair Coleman is an award winning young composer from Washington, DC. Most recently, he was appointed the Composer-in-Residence of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale. With three published works, Alistair is the youngest composer ever published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company in its nearly one-hundred-year history. 

He will be premiering I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud with the National Philharmonic, Saturday evening, April 28th at 8:00pm at Strathmore.

Marin Alsop

Marin Alsop discusses upcoming concerts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and plans for the Bernstein centenary including the release of her new boxed set of Bernstein recordings.

Marin Alsop

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Marin Alsop talks to Classical WETA's Nicole Lacroix about the BSO and the OrchKids program.