Classical Music

Weekdays 12N - 2pm
  • Hosted by Matt Jackfert
  • Local Host Frank Stowers

From plainchant to polyphony, Baroque to the Boston Pops, our mid-days are a celebration of the incredible diversity that is classical music.

The United States Marine Band will be starting its annual 30-day tour starting September 1st. They'll be making two stops in West Virginia:

Morgantown: Tuesday, Sept. 2nd 7:30 PM at the Clay Concert Theater at the Creative Arts Center

Charleston: Wednesday, Sept. 3rd 7:30 PM at the Municipal Auditorium.

They're also kicking off their tour near the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia in McHenry, MD on September 1st.

Tickets are FREE!! and are distributed by the local sponsor.

Tickets may be obtained by sending a self addressed and stamped envelope to...

St. Albans High School
C/O Tim White / Tickets
2100 Kanawha Terrace
St. Albans, WV 25177


Tickets will be available at
Charleston Civic Center Box Office & Taylor Books
For more information visit or  

In Concert with the WVU Wind Symphony

Aug 1, 2014

Classical Host, Matt Jackfert, interviews conductor, John Hendricks, of the WVU Wind Symphony about their upcoming season and plays recordings from past concerts.

Playlist:                                                                                                                                                                                                  John Mackey -- The Frozen Cathedral

John Phillip Sousa -- Easter Monday on the White House Lawn

Paul Hindemith -- March from Symphonic Metamorphosis

Percy Grainger -- Gum-Suckers March

Dowland or O'Dolan?

Jul 17, 2014

The man of mystery, the enigmatic composer and lutenist, John Dowland (1563 –  1626) has been on my mind lately.

Periodically, I go through these heavy Dowlandesque periods where I immerse myself in his profound songs, finger-tangling lute music or his soft and sorrowful music for viols.

You see, there are more than a few of us who believe that Dowland, among a myriad of other Renaissance composers, never get a fair shake in the world of classical music. They are largely ignored and it is duly noted.

Jim lange

Walking into Roger Morillo's shop in St. Albans, you cannot help but feel a tinge of excitement. 

Here is a place where not only valuable instrument repair is done, but it's also where Roger makes his own basses and guitars. This is the proverbial "kid in a candy store" for a guy like me.

Esa's Apple

May 27, 2014
© Katja Tähjä

Conductor/composer Esa-Pekka Salonen has a new series of short videos for Apple's iPad Air.

When I saw one of them on TV, I about jumped out of my chair. Rare, oh so rare, are appearances by the people Classical Music broadcasts every weekday. I got riled up when I wanted to rewind and watch the spot again. My wife wanted to move on and watch Jimmy Fallon.

He had Keith Urban. Sigh. That's a far, far cry from an Esa-Pekka Salonen and that's a damn shame as well.

Used by permission.

This Sunday, May 18th, you are in for a treat.

Do you sing in a choir? Like choral music? Do you like heavenly music set to exquisite poetry?

Eleanor Daley, one the most prolific and best-known choral composers, is coming to Charleston as part of the Charleston Civic Chorus' Spring Concert. She has an international reputation as her music is performed and sold all over the world.

I could just say her music is heavenly, blissful, subtle and profound, but that might not translate to readers.

Violinist Tim Fain

May 15, 2014
Used by permission.

Violinist Tim Fain has all the musicianship necessary to play the major works in the classical repertoire, but there is not even a hint of self-importance or standoffishness that can come with that. His thoughtful, down-to-earth conversation make you feel like old friends.

The sculptures of West Virginia artist, Cherese Weaver, are quite stunning. You don't just look at them as much as you feel that they are looking at you. And when they look at you, it's like that person you meet who sees you for who you really are. That's how powerful these pieces are.

She has captured something primal, like lost civilizations, with a gallery of faces that may be the gods and goddesses of the mythic imagination of antiquity.

Go to These Concerts

Apr 22, 2014

Feeling cabin fever? Post winter blues?

Then get out of the house to see these concerts:

Be a cross-cultural traveler when you go hear Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Indian Classical Vocalist.

Ashwini Bhide Deshpande (vocalist)

Sanjay Deshpande (Tabla)

Tanmay Deochake (Harmonium)

India Center – Charleston, WV

Admission: $ 15 advance or $ 20 at the door

(Children under 16 = Free)

Supporter’s Dinner Before the Event

6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.          $ 50.00 Per Person (includes the program)

Artist Travis Morton's work is very distinctive. 

Look at several of his works and a pattern emerges. Actually, several patterns emerge and permutate within a recognizable parameter. The DNA, the thumbprint: that's how I see an artist's style.

Used by permission.

To "refreshify" those weary minds out there, over the past few years, I have developed some rather intense back issues. My lower back is an animal I have to constantly monitor and never dare risk injuring. It will lock up and leave me unable to move. Well, once I hobble to the couch, I lay there perfectly still because any movement is sheer agony.

The other issue has been an extension of my back issues and no doubt of unknown issues that have caused a tremor in my right arm. This directly impacts my guitar playing - something I've been devoted to for nearly forty years.

The Montclaire String Quartet recently rehearsed Dr. John Beall's 3rd String Quartet at West Virginia Public Broadcasting this past Thursday (2/20) for the piece's premiere performance this Sunday (2/23) at 8:30 PM in Bloch Hall at the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown. We were able to record excerpts of the 2nd and 3rd movements, as well as the entirety of the 4th movement to give you all a sneak peak of the piece. Dr. Beall also talks about the influences of each of the movement and talks about the dedication of his 4th movement ("Redbird") to Senator Robert C. Bird in this special by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Jim Lange

We begin again, constantly.~ Robert Fripp

Pain is a powerful motivation.

The pain I am experiencing is causing me to re-evaluate many things. Pain areas, specifically my back, are causing me some alarm. Each movement, even remotely involving bending forward, or a wrong twist at the hips, is carefully considered because any wrong turn could send electric-like shocks through my back that cause subsequent immobility.

Flutist Lindsey Goodman is full of energy.

When I called her a dynamo, at first she looked puzzled, but I explained that I meant that she was full of enthusiasm, energy and drive. Just hearing about her performing and teaching schedule makes me want to take a nap.

But she is more than just a person with enthusiasm. She is a professional musician on a mission. This mission is her passion since she was 18 years old. Her mission is contemporary music.


Conductor Claudio Abbado passed this week (January 20, 2014) and today on Classical Music we pay tribute to the maestro.

President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy paid tribute: Mr. Abbado had “honored the great musical tradition of our country in Europe and all over the world.”

The New York Times has a tribute.

The "Dissonant" Mozart

Jan 3, 2014

Salieri: I was staring through the cage of those meticulous ink strokes - at an absolute beauty.

I can't say I've been on a Mozart kick, but some coincidences make me wonder.

The fabulous film, Amadeus, has been in my DVD player for a while. I marvel at the sheer virtuosity of its costumes, the sets, the magnificent acting of F. Murray Abraham who plays the burdened Salieri and of course, the storyline.

Interview With Violinist Michelle Makarski

Dec 16, 2013
Photo credit: Silvia Lelli

Violinist Michelle Makarski spoke with me about how she can play Bach Sonatas with such fiery passion but still not "burn the house down" as some Romantics do. She also mentions how she has been through West Virginia and has admired the state's incredible beauty, but regrets that she hasn't been able to perform in the state yet. Her and I both hope that will change soon.


Dr. Lucy Mauro, professor of piano at West Virginia University, was able to talk with me about the contributions of largely unknown American composer, Margaret Ruthven Lang. What I discovered was that Margaret Lang is a very prolific composer with over 200 songs, even though she would destroy her own music if she didn't like a particular piece. 

Shella Rock @ Decca / Used by permission.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner has had a life-long relationship with Bach. In  fact, the Haussmann portrait hung in the his home and the young Gardiner passed it every day. Imagine that.

Icy Music

Dec 2, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Percussionists- let's tip our hats to them.

Drummers, per se, have been the butt of many a joke over the years, but the percussionist, a slightly more subtle animal, has to be given kudos. They have been a major force in moving music forward since the early part of the 20th century.

SIDEBAR: A drummer, in the most confined definition, is someone who plays a kit, a drum set. A percussionist, by my own definition, is someone who plays a wide variety of percussion instruments. That's the distinction for me. No emails, thanks.

Of Monarchs and Music

Dec 1, 2013

I love music history DVDs.

Blame it on my laziness (or my age). Those endless, small-print historical tomes with their insanely detailed texts only make my head swim. My eyes want to drink in the glorious cathedrals and paintings, to hear the perfect choirs and ensembles; all the while a dulcet-toned narrator guides me through musical antiquity. 

Igor Stravinsky, as drawn by Pablo Picasso
public doaain

Igor Stravinksy’s The Rite of Spring was a monumental work in so many ways: its size, its structure, and its ability to push the limits of what is known as music. The piece was so groundbreaking that at its premiere in Paris, France, on May 29th, 1913, a near-riot erupted in the audience.

Mind Your Pleas and Cues

Oct 13, 2013
Die Zeit, 1913

How should you act at a classical concert? Are there rules you should follow? Is everyone around you asleep or lost in reverential contemplation?

Scared to Write a Note

Oct 3, 2013
Copyright owned by Kevin Doyle

Thumbing through a copy of Opera News, an article on opera composer Ricky Ian Gordon revealed some very provocative words:

"The twentieth century is littered with a lot of composers who were terrorized out of writing what they heard-out of writing in ...their authentic voice. There was such a critical backlash against...tonal music. I mean you could were just laughed off the map."