It’s been a bad week for cultural touchstones–first Gourmet Magazine folds, now New York’s venerable classic radio station WQXR is moving up the dial and changing into a public radio station and part of WNYC. Starting tonight, the soon-to-be-former New York Times-owned radio station will migrate from 96.3 FM to 105.9 FM. The switchover in frequencies will occur at 8:00 pm tonight at Carnegie Hall; the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is presenting its opening-night concert as the kickoff for their 37th season. The performance will include the world premiere of the Concerto with Echoes, by Aaron Jay Kernis, as well as Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.
WQXR, the country’s oldest commercial classical music station, will be preserved as New York’s only 24-hour classical music station. Now, however, it will be listener-supported.
WQXR has been broadcasting for more than 60 years at 96.3 FM, and has been owned by The New York Times for 65 years. The new format means no more commercials but the same familiar lineup of hosts (Jeff Spurgeon; Midge Woolsey) as well as familiar programming like Metropolitan Opera Radio Saturday Matinee Broadcasts. More web content will also be added.
Few cities even have full-time classical radio stations any more; WQXR was one of a dying breed. So New Yorkers and classical music lovers–show your support, and tune in early–and often.
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