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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: Is there a classical music radio station where you live?

August 7, 2009 at 9:51 PM

I've been on the road for almost a month, all over the United States, and so I've had a chance to explore the airways. Usually I can find a classical music station in big cities, but not always.

Where I live -- in Pasadena, in the Los Angeles area -- we have KUSC (FM 91.5), a non-profit National Public Radio station which broadcasts from the University of Southern California. The other station that served the Los Angeles area, KMZT, or "K-Mozart," moved to AM radio (1260 AM or 105.1 HD) in 2007. It had operated as a for-profit station, and its FM address was changed to a country station.

I'd argue that this was a blow to classical music in the LA area, to simply lose a station off the FM dial.

Radio stations are a great way to introduce people to classical music, to help people grow their interest in it, to allow people to listen to live concerts all over the world, to provide a forum for disseminating information and promoting local classical events. What is the situation, where you live? Is there a classical music station? Is there more than one? Is there a sad story about a station that didn't make it? What are your thoughts about your local station, if you have one?


From Anne Horvath
Posted on August 7, 2009 at 10:37 PM

There is an NPR station here in B'ham, although they only play Classical Music from evening to early morning.  And the music they do play is not very inspiring, mostly "Greatest Hits" type of pieces, and single movements.  And, they dropped The Met.

Needless to say, I quit pledging, and told them why.  And now I listen to the zillion CDs I own, or 


From Elinor Estepa
Posted on August 7, 2009 at 11:15 PM

Same thing here, we have NPR radio stations, but we have more than one classical program, one that is local and the other, Performance Today, is not part of NPR anymore, but they still do have time slot  every week.

Also, we have more than 2 FM station, one in our county, that includes the upper part of Miami area, and the other the one North of us,which play classical music all day long, so there are more selections to listen to.

From Corwin Slack
Posted on August 7, 2009 at 11:29 PM

 I have satellite radio in my car and there are three classical stations on XM-Sirius. I recently drove from Houston to Phoenix and I had radio all the way. A lot of cars now have a jack that will let you hook up your iPod. 


From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on August 7, 2009 at 11:30 PM

I listen to Kansas Public Radio, based out of Lawrence, KS, which I love. They have classical music in the morning, afternoon, and evening on weekdays, plus jazz, folk, NPR news, some other shows. It's great. :)

From Steffen Zeichner
Posted on August 7, 2009 at 11:40 PM

The situation is absolutely terrible back home for me.

Here in Gainesville, FL, our non profit NPR station has just stopped ALL music broadcasts in favor of news and talk programming. This includes not just classical music, but also all jazz programs, such as "Piano Jazz." I understand the need for news programming and such, but not 24 hours a day.

NPR was the only station on the normal airwaves which played classical music here, and according to the University of Florida journalism Dean John Wright, "If they don't want to spend 75 bucks (for an HD radio), they must not want it that bad."

It's absolutely ridiculous.. Growing up, I had a large collection of classical CD's to choose from, but the radio was a great way to be exposed to music I might never have heard of otherwise. Plus, there are many kids who unfortunately don't have access to classical music in their homes at all other than through radio.

Removing access to the only classical music station in the area, which includes a major university, is just unbelievably shortsighted in my mind, and doesn't bode well for a future in which I hope to earn a living as a professional violinist.

 See the recent article here-

From Patricia Baser
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 12:05 AM

Georgia Public Radio has a station at Mercer University.  I catch random snippets of music when I travel between elementary buildings. When I lived in Michigan, the U of M station was classical but switched to all talk.  When they were still  just playing classical music, they seemed to have a special fondness for the concertinos of  Lars-Erik Larsson.

From Royce Faina
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 12:57 AM

K.V.O.D.  88.5 FM

Semper Fi Carry On!!!!!  }:^D

From Lawrence Price
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 2:04 AM

Actually 88.5 in Laramie Wyoming is no longer KVOD.  Last year, KUWR, took the frequency and began running the standard NPR classical feed on that frequency under the call letters of KUWY without the additional special programing that KUWR once provided.  They also canceled the opera but reinstated it after an uproar from listeners.  KUWR instituted jazz programing on 90.1, which was the Colorado Public Radio news channel.  It seemed a blatant attempt to make sure that Laramie audiences would not contribute to any other NPR outlet.  It is my understanding that the management of the local NPR station would do anything to get rid of classical music but can't because of audience demand.  It will not be a surprise if they change the programing to something else in the future.

From Mark Heckler
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 2:48 AM

St. Louis is very fortunate to have KFUO Classic 99 ( Between that and the classical programming on XM radio (and of course, the magnificent St. Louis Symphony Orchestra), life is very good indeed!

All the best!
A day job is there to support a playing addiction

From Patricia Baser
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 3:29 AM

KFUO is the station where I first started listening to classical music.

From Catie Rinderknecht
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 4:51 AM

While my particular town does not have one, we get reception from KSUI Iowa CIty.   

From Kim Vawter
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 5:30 AM

KVNO 90.7

I have it for the first button on my FM dial.

Omaha has a great arts community and we support our public radio and TV. 

From Richard Hellinger
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 8:28 AM

WXXI has a classical music channel here in Rochester, NY that often plays NPR and is all classical music. A majority of its hosts have something to do with Eastman- so it is nice how knowledgable they are.


From Tobias Seyb
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Here in Germany we have the non profit state channels in every Bundesland (could be compared to "state").

They run 24/7 culture formats (in addition to their pop channels and the tv) including classical music, theatre, arts, science and politics. This is fantastic. No advertising here, no acoustic bs during the announcements or news, no easy listening music that claims to be classical music like the commercial wannabe classical stations (

From R Greene
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 12:37 PM

There are alternative listening options.  Try Classical Live Online Radio More than 140 stations are available.

From Steven Albert
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Here in Chicago we used to have two classical stations.  But, WNIB went to the dark side, so now we just have the one, WFMT.  Classical 24 hours.  Fantastic station.

From Robert Spear
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Because of our location in New York State (I'm in Ithaca), we have overlapping coverage from three public radio stations. One, WEOS, plays no classical music at all. Our main station, WSKG, while advertising itself as "your source for classical music" is following a trend that others here have already pointed out of programming ever more news and information. The largest block of classical programming runs from 11:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M., when I imagine only the owls are listening. The third, WCNY, has a signal that barely gets here, but they are committed to classical music. I only wish I could get them better. For many years, my city was only one of a handful that also supported a commercial classical FM station, but that is now gone. Not exactly encouraging.

From Royce Faina
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Whoops.  For some reason I was thinking KUWY was an extention of KVOD and KVOD as a parent station especially since they have Lyn Warfell (sp?) as DJ.  Sorry about that.  Same DJs?

From bill platt
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 2:06 PM

We have multiple stations on Long Island.

From Darcy Lewis
Posted on August 8, 2009 at 3:06 PM

In Chicago, despite the loss of WNIB some years ago, we are fortunate indeed to have possibly the best classical station on the airwaves, WFMT-98.7. In addition to offering an outstanding nearly all-classical diet (Sat. night is for folk music) it has really taken the lead in offering fine classical programming for syndication. FMT now produces the NY Phil broadcasts, Mwaukee Symph broadcasts, Jerusalem Symphony, Exploring Music with Bill McLoughlin, etc. It also produces important one-off programs, like the 2006 Mozart commemorations from Salzburg.

During pledge drives, people call in from around the country and around the world now that FMT has introduced free live streaming at It's definitely worth a listen.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on August 10, 2009 at 3:32 AM

I felt sad reading that so many music lovers have little or no access to classical music on their local radio stations.  I live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and for a long time we had one public radio station that played classical music 24/7.  The station was bought by someone who changed the format to talk shows 24/7.  There was a huge outcry from the local classical music lovers, and we got back a radio station that plays classical music 24/7.  Since I use my computer a lot, I've learned about streaming audio stations that play classical music or whatever type of music I'm in the mood for.  You can get listings of all American streaming radio stations at  My favorite classical music stations online are Vermont Public Radio ( and Radio Netherland's classical music station,

From Rizky Ramadhan
Posted on August 10, 2009 at 5:04 AM
Hi! This is my first comment in the Weekend Vote.. I live in Indonesia.. Here in my city there's no any station for classical music. Perhaps there are some in Java island..(I live in Sulawesi island). Fortunately, here we can be accessed to an online radio..
From Federico Piantini
Posted on August 10, 2009 at 1:09 PM

 Phialdelphia area.......

WRTI (Temple Univ) station:

6:00 AM to 6:00 PM=Classical

6:00 PM to 6:00 AM=Jazz


When I came to study in Phila we had WFLN 24 hours classical and

NPR had some Classical music programing.

Now NPR is just other programing (no music)

WFLN disapeared and became Hard Rock...........(@ 15 years ago??..)



From Lynn Wallisch
Posted on August 11, 2009 at 2:08 AM

KMFA in Austin, TX, is a wonderful, 24-hour, completely listener-sponsored (no ads), all classical station that has been around for 40 years! They now also stream on the net (

From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on August 11, 2009 at 4:39 AM

The classical radio situation here  in the San Francisco Bay area is rather disappointing.   We used to have an excellent station but it changed its format.  A new station bought its library and took on some of its announcers but lately they schedule only one full-length symphony per day.  At least they have "From the Top".

We stream KUSC (, which Laurie mentioned.  Thanks to everyone else who mentioned their own favorite station to stream!

Fran Rizzardi

From Mendy Smith
Posted on August 11, 2009 at 6:09 AM

 Portland has an all-classical station that I now miss.  Here in Houston, a much larger city, only has NPR, and classical is NOT played during commute times when I would be listening to the radio.  I'm terribly dissapointed.  I'm regulated now to listening to "oldies" (aka '80's music, which makes me feel even older).    

From Graham Clark
Posted on August 11, 2009 at 6:50 AM

BBC Radio Three - why you need publicly funded radio.

Classic FM - what you get without it.


From bill platt
Posted on August 11, 2009 at 5:36 PM

On Long Island, our classical music is listener-supported radio.  Generally referred to as "public" radio it is in fact not government funded. The all-classical station is 100% listener and private company support.  One of the other stations which has some very good classical programming does not allow any corporate, governemnt nor foundation support. 

These stations are vibrant and outstanding. They pass the hat like a church, and it works. In our region, there are enough people who care, that it works.  The real problem is finding the radio spectrum, and that is where the "public" comes from--there is a segment of the spectrum reserved for non-commercial radio.  Otherwise you have to compete against big money for the licenses.  And that may be why Houston has no classical--possibly all the public slots are already taken up by NPR.

From Christopher Ciampoli
Posted on August 11, 2009 at 11:01 PM

Depending on where I am in NJ I can get up to 3 at the same time...NPR classical, Temple University, and Mercer County College. In South Jersey I don't get the one from Trenton, in North Jersey I don't get the one from Temple, but in Trenton I get all 3 =). I actually particularly like the Mercer County College one, it plays the most music with a wonderful selection. Temple's WRTI plays slightly more familiar pieces. I prefer Temple's WRTI to the one I get whenever I drift towards NYC actually, where one might expect the opposite. Oh the wonders of living in New Jersey =)

From Andrew Paa
Posted on August 12, 2009 at 4:02 AM

MPR coming from Minneapolis and brought to me by Augustana College.

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