VPR Classical

VPR Classical is Vermont's statewide classical music station. We bring you the broad world of classical music with a strong local connection: local hosts throughout the week, live performances, news about events in your community, and more.

VPR Classical hosts, clockwise from the top left: Kari Anderson, Walter Parker, James Stewart, Linda Radtke and Peter Fox Smith.

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Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Delius: On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring  (Sarah Hicks, conductor)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat, Op. 55 Eroica  (Jaime Laredo, conductor)

Listen Wednesday June 1 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

Johannes Brahms was first introduced to the world through the writings of Robert Schumann who praised his gifts so highly that many expected Brahms to be Beethoven’s natural successor. Brahms spent the better part of his career under the shadow of his hero. This pressure wasn’t just external. Brahms was his own worst critic and often wrote his friends about his desire to live up to the music of Beethoven. As a result, Brahms’ “1st Symphony” took over 20 years to complete.

Dominic Mercier / WFMT

The WFMT Radio Network is proud to make the American Opera Series available for broadcast here on VPR Classical. The American Opera Series is designed to complement the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, filling in the schedule with 29 weeks to complete the year.

This year the American Opera Series features great performances by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Glimmerglass Festival and Opera Philadelphia.

The Flying Dutchman

May 25, 2016

The Flying Dutchman was Wagner's first significant opera - and the first to show signs of the genius that was to flourish in his later operas. We'll hear an analysis and excerpts that feature Deborah Voigt, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Ben Heppner, and others.

Listen Saturday, May 28 at 12 noon.

Opera Company of Middlebury

The Opera Company of Middlebury will give 5 fully staged performances, with orchestra, of Verdi's Macbeth, from June 3 to June 11.  We'll get a preview from Artistic Director Douglas Anderson.

Listen Thursday May 26 at 11 a.m.
Listen online now.


Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, conductor

Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1  (Orion Weiss, piano)
R. Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1  (Jennifer Montone, horn)

Listen Wednesday May 25 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

In September of 1895 the Meningen Music Festival in Germany dedicated over two weeks of performances to the music of three composers, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Brahms was 62 years old at the time; so could you possibly imagine a greater honor for a living composer? It’s completely fitting that the music of Johannes Brahms would be included in that line of prestigious and influential German composers. His music walked the line between tradition and the Romantic ideals of the 19th century.

4 Recitals

May 18, 2016

We present brief recitals by four major singers - two contemporary and two from the past: tenor Juan Diego Flórez, soprano Licia Albanese, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and bass Feodor Chaliapin.

Listen Saturday, May 21 at 12 noon.

U.S. Public Domain

19th century Germany was not a hospitable environment for female composers. Nevertheless, Clara Weick-Schumann left an indelible mark with her compositions, her soulful musicianship, her inspired instruction and her influence on many major composers of her generation.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Mozart: Symphony No. 35 in D, K. 385 Haffner  (Jaime Laredo, conductor)
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Suite  (Anthony Princiotti, conductor)
Gershwin: Lullaby  (Jaime Laredo, conductor)

Listen Wednesday May 18 at 8 p.m.

Tchaikovsky II

May 9, 2016

We hear more excerpts from Tchaikovsky operas, sung by such artists as Tiana Lemnitz, Jussi Bjoerling, Fritz Wunderlich, and Maria Jeritza.

Listen Saturday, May 14 at 12 noon.

U.S. Public Domain

Robert Schumann is one of the central figures of the Romantic Era. Not only did he make important contributions to the piano, art song and orchestral repertoire, he was also a celebrated musical journalist whose prose and poetry influenced the music of a generation.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, conductor

Mozart: Serenata notturna, K. 239
Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73

Listen Wednesday May 11 at 8 p.m.


May 3, 2016

We celebrate Tchaikovsky's May 7, 1840 birthday by listening to some exceptionally beautiful singing: Tchaikovsky opera excerpts sung by extraordinary artists who performed almost exclusively in Russia: Konstantin Lisovsky, Sergei Lemeshev, Vitali Kilchevsky, and Pawel Lisizian, among others.

Listen Saturday, May 7 at 12 noon.


Glover Community School 8th grader Asom Hayman-Jones is featured in May’s Student Composer Showcase.

U.S. Public Domain

The music of Richard Wagner marked a growing “crisis” in Romantic harmony marked by the so called, "Tristan Chord". This is the opening harmony of the prelude to Wagner’s 1859 opera Tristan and Isolde. Never before has one group of four notes rocked the musical world so completely.

Fernando Baez / www.olgakern.com

Pianist Olga Kern will play the Grieg Concerto with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Saturday evening.  She visits Walter Parker for a chat on Friday morning.

Listen Friday April 29 at 11 a.m. and online now.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Brahms: Academic Festival Overture  (Raymond Leppard, conductor)
Dvorak: Symphony No. 6 in D, Op. 60  (Anthony Princiotti, conductor)

Broadcast Wednesday April 27 at 8 p.m.

Franz Lehár

Apr 26, 2016

We celebrate the April 30, 1870 birthday of Franz Lehár with excerpts from his operettas as sung by Marta Eggerth, Fritz Wunderlich, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Jarmila Novotna, and Richard Tauber.

Listen Saturday, April 30 at 12 noon.

U.S. Public Domain

It only takes a few notes to recognize the main theme of John William's score to the film “Star Wars." The Star Wars franchise has become a cultural touchstone all around the world. The original 1977 film is a marriage of a universal mythological tale, told with fantastic artistry.