Classical Companion


WCNY’s Classic FM showcases several of its arts and culture partners in a new “Classical Companion” program on its Classic FM radio station. The show aims to keep arts organizations across the region in the minds and ears of listeners and to provide the community with an oasis of calm during this challenging time.

Classic FM is available on 91.3 in Syracuse, 89.5 in Utica, 90.9 in Watertown, streaming at, and with the TuneIn app.

On-air host Diane Jones will discuss music compositions with music directors by phone, showcasing the pieces they turn to for relaxation and stressful times. They will talk about some of their favorite music, listen to them together, and talk about what makes them so special.

The series will air at noon on Classic FM.

  • Gregory Wood

    June 18, 2020

    Gregory Wood – Asst. Principal Cello Symphoria & Professor of Cello at Syracuse University Favorite Works Playlist Cellist Gregory Wood has performed live in the Classic FM studios before. Now he shares these works and the stories behind them. Fredric Chopin a.Etude Op. 25, No. 1 “Aeolian Harp” b.Anton Rubinstein, piano Ludwig van Beethoven a.Missa Solemnis, Benedictus b.Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein, conductor Claude Debussy a.La Mer b.Boston Symphony Orchestra; Sir Colin Davis, condoctor Ludwig van Beethoven a.Symphony No. 7, Mvt. 1 b.Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig; Kurt Masur, conductor Herbie Hancock a.Imagine (from The Imagine Project) b.Herbie Hancock Johannes Brahms a.Double Concerto b.David Oistrakh, violin; Pierre Fournier, cello; Philharmonia Orchestra; Alceo Galliera, conductor Gustav Mahler a.Symphony No. 2, Mvt. b.New York Philharmonic; Leonard Bernstein, conductor Dmitri Kabalevsky a.Cello Concerto No. 1 b.Daniel Shafran, cello; Great Symphony Orchestra; Dmitri Kabalevsky, conductor Aaron Copland a.Quiet City b.London Symphony Orchestra; Aaron Copland, conductor […] Read More

  • Will Knuth

    June 4, 2020

    William Knuth – Violinist, Fulbright Scholar, Prof. of Violin at SU, co-founder of Duo Sonidos   William Knuth is a talented soloist and teacher.  Together, he and guitarist Adam Levin are Duo Sonidos, playing a wide variety of works for violin and guitar.  Here is the music Will is listening to now.   A. Mozart Fantasia in D Minor, K. 397 Kristian Bezidenhout, fortepiano Antonio Bertali Chiacona Rachel Podger, violiln; Marcin Swiatkiewicz, harpsichord; Daniele Caminiti, theorbo Steve Reich Music for 18 Musicians Ensemble Signal Caleb Burhans Remembrance Yuki Numata Resnick, violin Goldfrapp Jo & Clowns Goldfrapp Henryk Gorecki Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 Polish National Orchestra; Antoni Wit, conductor; Zofia Kilanowicz, soprano Sheryl Crow Riverwide Sheryl Crow Aaron Copland The Gift, from The Red Pony Suite Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, conductor Karel Szymanowski Dawn & Wild Dance Duo Sonidos Wojciech Kilar Orawa Orchestra de la Radio et […] Read More

  • Ovidiu Marinescu, cellist, composer, conductor – Trio Casals

    May 28, 2020

    Ovidiu Marinescu, cellist, composer, conductor – Trio Casals Favorite Works Playlist As a cellist, Ovidiu Marinescu has performed around the world, and was featured on the Number 1 classical release, The Sea Knows, by Michael Kurek.  He is founder of Trio Casals, and is an active composer, conductor, and educator.  He has a wide array of music to share with us!   P­ēteris Vasks Plainscapes The Crossing Choir; Donald Nally, conductor; Thomas Mesa, cello; Shannon Lee, violin Johann Sebastian Bach Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring Dinu Lipatti, piano Olivier Messiaen Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus, from Quartet for the End of Time Leila Josefowicz, violin; John Novacek, piano Miguel Del Aguila Tango Trio TransAtlantic Ensemble Michael Kurek Fairy Dreams Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco Sonata in D Minor, ABV 35 Elinor Frey, Baroque cello; Federica Bianchi, harpsichord Gustav Mahler Adagietto, from Symphony No. 5 Berlin Philharmonic; Herbert von Karajan, conductor […] Read More

  • Kathleen Rathbun, Founder & Artistic Director – Syracuse City Ballet

    May 21, 2020

    Kathleen Rathbun, Founder & Artistic Director – Syracuse City Ballet Favorite Works Playlist Kathleen Rathbun is the founder & artistic director of the Syracuse City Ballet.  She shares the music that is special to her, and stories from her heart.   Sergei Prokofiev Cinderella (ballet) Russian National Orchestra Carmon DeLeone Peter Pan (ballet) Utah Chamber Orchestra Philip Feeney Dracula (ballet) Northern Ballet Theater Orchestra Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Swan Lake (ballet) Wolfgang Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Johann Strauss II The Blue Danube Waltz Read More

  • Peter van de Graaff – Through the Night Host

    May 14, 2020

    Peter van de Graaff – Through the Night Host Favorite Works Playlist   You hear Peter van de Graaff every night on WCNY, hosting your midnight to 6am musical selections.  Peter has shared some of the music he cherishes in these challenging times.   Franz Joseph Haydn String Quartet, Op. 50, No. 2 Amati Quartet Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard Sonata, K. 199 Pieter-Jan Belder, harpsichord Jules Massenet Meditation, from Thais Julie Albers, cello; Orion Weiss, piano Ludwig van Beethoven Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 Emerson String Quartet Beethoven Gloria, from the Missa Solemnis English Baroque Soloists; Monteverdi Choir; Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Orchestra of the 18th Century; Franz Bruggen, conductor S. Bach Matthew Passion Collegium Vocale Ghent; Philippe Herreweghe, conductor S. Bach Violin Partita No. 2 Nathan Milstein, violin Franz Schubert String Quintet Guarneri String Quartet; Bernard Greenhouse, cello Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Opening to The Legend of […] Read More

  • Aaron Wunsch & Julia Bruskin – Co-Artistic Directors, Skaneateles Festival

    May 12, 2020

    Aaron Wunsch & Julia Bruskin – Co-Artistic Directors, Skaneateles Festival Favorite Works Playlist Pianist Aaron Wunsch and cellist Julia Bruskin have been Artistic Directors of the Skaneateles Festival since 2015.  In addition to bringing “World Class Music by the Lake” to Central New York every year, they are sharing the music they look to in these challenging times.   S. Bach Sinfonia from Cantata No. 29, arranged by Gyorgy Kurtag for piano four hands Takahachi Lehmann Duo Olivier Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time, Mvt. 5 (Praise to the Eternity of Jesus) Julian Lloyd Webber, cello; John Lenehan, piano Arvo Part Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirror in Mirror) Angele Dubeau, violin; louise-Andre Baril, piano Maurice Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major, Mvt. II – Adagio assai Martha Argerich, piano; London Symphony Orchestra; Claudio Abbado, conductor Maurice Ravel Mother Goose Suite, Mvt. V – The Fairy’s Garden New Zealand Symphony […] Read More

  • Frank Dominguez – Host, Concierto

    May 8, 2020

    Frank Dominguez – Host, Concierto Frank Dominguez is the host and producer of Concierto, the weekly program of classical music presented in English and Spanish, and heard every Saturday morning on Classic FM.  Frank has shared some wonderful music and memories with us. Ralph Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending Sarah Chang, violin; London Philharmonic Orchestra; Bernard Haitink, conducto Ernesto Lecuona Siboney Rodolfo Brito, piano Antonin Dvorak Goin’ Home (Largo from the New World Symphony) Kathleen Battle, soprano Arturo Marquez Danzon No. 2 Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra; Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” – Finale Vienna Philharmonic; Arnold Schoenberg Choir; Claudio Abbado, conductor Traditional, arranged by Leo Brouwer Cancion de cuna Pepe Romero, guitar Read More

  • Robert Auler – Founder & Artistic Director – LaVeck Concerts

    May 6, 2020

    Robert Auler – Founder & Artistic Director – LaVeck Concerts Favorite Works Playlist   Pianist Robert Auler is the founder and artistic director of the LaVeck Concert Series in Pulaski, NY, and is the Department Chair and Professor of Piano at SUNY-Oswego.  He has given us a wide-ranging list of favorites, from classical to jazz to pop.  And the list includes works chosen by every member of his family! Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Sir Daniel Barenboim, conductor Samuel Barber Adagio for Strings Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Marin Alsop, conductor John Adams China Gates Andrew Russo, piano Hank Mobley This I Dig Of You Keith Garrett Trio Georgia On My Mind Brad Mehldau/Joshua Redman Oleo Paolo Nutini New Shoes Gummy Gummy Bears Taylor Swift Shake It Off Soundtrack Descendants U2 Beautiful Day Francois-Joseph Gossec Gavotte in D Major Read More

  • Julie Pretzat –Artistic Director, Syracuse Vocal Ensemble

    May 1, 2020

    Julie Pretzat –Artistic Director, Syracuse Vocal Ensemble Favorite Works Playlist   Dr. Julie Pretzat is the returning Artistic Director for the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble.  After working in college administration for some time, she is thrilled to return to her first passion – music.  Julie has some wonderful choral works to share with us:   Maurice Durufle Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and In Paradisum, from Requiem Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Robert Shaw, conductor Gabriel Faure Sanctus, Pie Jesu, and Agnus Dei, from Requiem Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Robert Shaw, conductor Giuseppe Verdi Dies Irae, from Requiem William Ferris Chorale; Composer Festival Orchestra; William Ferris, conductor Georg Friedric Handel Lord, I Trust Thee Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford; Stephen Farr, organ; Stephen Darlington, director Daniel Gawthrop Sing Me To Heaven Susquehanna Chorale; Linda L. Tedford, director Maurice Durufle Ubi Caritas The Choir of Belfast Cathedral; Ian Barber, organ; David Drinkell, […] Read More

  • Geoffrey Herd

    April 29, 2020

    Geoffrey Herd, Geneva Music Festival Violinist Geoffrey Herd founded the Geneva Music Festival 10 years ago.  Though the festival is on hiatus for the remainder of this season, Geoff reminds us that music is still the tie that binds humans together. Favorite Works Playlist Johannes Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op 78 Pamela Frank, violin; Peter Serkin, piano Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 2 London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus; Gilbert Kaplan, conductor; Benita Valente, soprano; Maureen Forrestor, contralto Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132 Tokyo String Quartet Read More

« Previous PodCasts

Frank Dominguez, host of Concierto for Friday, 5/8

Aaron Wunsch & Julia Bruskin, Skaneateles Festival, 5/13
Peter Van de Graff, host of Through the Night, for Friday, 5/15

Central New York’s only classical music station Classic FM radio provides listeners with live, locally hosted classical music programs. The station also features concerts from around the world six nights per week, opera from the Metropolitan Opera and other companies on Saturdays, archival programs of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and specialty programs including Broadway, Italian-American music, jazz and bluegrass.
Classic FM is available on 91.3 in Syracuse, 89.5 in Utica, 90.9 in Watertown, streaming at, and with the TuneIn app