Performance Today®

with host Fred Child

About Performance Today

American Public Media's Performance Today is America's most popular classical music radio program and a winner of the 2014 Gabriel Award for artistic achievement. The show is broadcast on nearly 300 public radio stations across the country, and reaches approximately 1.4 million listeners each week.

Performance Today features live concert recordings that can't be heard anywhere else, as well as in-studio performances and interviews. Also, each week composer Bruce Adolphe joins host Fred Child for a classical music game, the Piano Puzzler. Performance Today is based at the APM studios in Saint Paul, Minn., but is frequently on the road, with special programs broadcast from festivals and public radio stations around the country.

In the PT Young Artist in Residence program, Performance Today highlights young soloists from American conservatories who have the potential for great careers. Previous young artists have represented a variety of music schools including the New England Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Jacobs School at the University of Indiana, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and The Colburn School. PT is proud to count pianists Orli Shaham, Jeremy Denk, and Jonathan Biss, guitarist Jason Vieaux, and violinist Colin Jacobsen among our many former young artists.

About Fred Child

Fred Child is the host of APM's Performance Today, the most-listened-to classical music radio show in America. Fred is also the commentator and announcer for Live from Lincoln Center, the only live performing arts series on television. And he's co-host of Carnegie Hall Live, an annual series of a dozen live national radio broadcasts from America's premier musical venue.

Fred also appears at classical music festivals and events around the country, from PT's annual residency at the Aspen Music Festival and School, to special events at the Savannah Music festival, Marlboro Music, the Spoleto Festival USA, Summerfest La Jolla and many more.

Beyond the world of classical music, Fred hosted NPR's innovative "Creators@Carnegie," a program of wide-ranging performers in concert, including Brian Wilson, David Byrne, Dawn Upshaw, Youssou N'Dour, Caetano Veloso, Emmylou Harris and others. Before going to NPR, Fred was Music Director and Director of Cultural Programming at WNYC in New York, host of a live daily performance and interview program on WNYC, and for 10 years, a host at Oregon Public Broadcasting.

For several years, Fred's pre-concert talks were a popular feature for the Washington Performing Arts Society, in Washington D.C., and for the Baltimore Symphony. He has given concert talks for Lincoln Center, the Aspen Festival, Summerfest La Jolla and many other venues across the country.

In recent years, Fred has hosted a series of unique live national concert broadcasts, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic from Walt Disney Hall, the Last Night of the Proms from the Royal Albert Hall in London, New Year's concerts by the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony at their summer home of Tanglewood, the ground-breaking "Spring for Music" concerts from Carnegie Hall, and the "Americana" series for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff.

Fred's music reviews have appeared on NPR's All Things Considered, and his music reports have appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. He's been a contributor to Billboard magazine, and a concert host and commentator for BBC Radio 3.

While growing up in Portland, Ore., Fred studied classical piano. He also dabbles in guitar, percussion and bagpipes. His percussion band opened for the Grateful Dead at the Oakland Coliseum. He has narrated works at the Aspen Festival, with the Virginia Symphony, with the U.S. Marine Band and at the Round Top Festival-Institute. His rare musical performances in public include percussion with guitarist Sharon Isbin, and piano four-hands duets with Andre-Michel Schub. He appears as an actor in a video commissioned for the Partita for Solo Violin by Philip Glass.

Fred loves baseball (throws right, bats left) and soccer (he's a fan of North London's Tottenham Hotspur), and is an avid hiker, climber, skier, cyclist, and a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver.

About the Team

Brad Althoff

Brad Althoff, Managing Producer, National Classical Programs

Brad Althoff is the managing producer for national classical programs at American Public Media. At APM he oversees the production of Performance Today, Composer's Datebook, SymphonyCast and Pipedreams, the holiday portfolio of programs, and special national concert broadcasts. A slave to fashion, the gym, and his art, what free time he has is divided equally between painting, lifting, and the tailor.

Suzanne Schaffer

Suzanne Schaffer, Senior Producer

Suzanne Schaffer is Senior Producer for Performance Today. In that role, she coordinates studio performances, edits interviews, covers music festivals, writes scripts and chooses music to broadcast on the show. Suzanne is also a life-long Spanish language student and an avid runner.

Elizabeth Iverson

Elizabeth Iverson, Technical Producer

Elizabeth Iverson is the Technical Producer for APM's Performance Today. She records and assembles the show's daily programs and prepares the audio for national distribution. A recovering bassoonist, she now climbs rocks, plays banjo, and knits; although not all at the same time.

Craig Thorson

Craig Thorson, Technical Director

Craig Thorson is the Technical Director for Performance Today. In addition to mastering the live music recordings that are programmed for each daily program, he records guest performances and interviews. Craig enjoys skiing, tennis, and bicycling, and boating.

Marc Sanchez

Marc Sanchez, Producer

Marc Sanchez is the Producer for Performance Today. He helps with music programming, artists interviews and special features. He also moonlights as a podcaster for the kids science show, Brains On! His non-radio interests include spending time with his wife and daughter, running, record shopping and playing the drums.

David Malley

David Malley, Associate Producer

David Malley is an associate producer at Performance Today. Before joining the PT team, he worked as an editor at several media outlets, including the Discovery Channel and Rolling Stone.

Avital Rabinowitz

Avital Rabinowitz, Associate Producer

Avital Rabinowitz is an associate producer for Performance Today. She is responsible for various behind-the-scenes functions, including liaising with artists and creating materials for national distribution. In her spare time, she studies the migration patterns of our nation's squirrels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the name of the composer, performer or piece I heard on the show?

From the homepage, click on "Episodes" to see a complete listing of shows. Click on each individual show for a complete playlist of each episode.

Can I buy a recording of music I heard on your show?

It's possible, but not likely. Many of the performances that you hear on Performance Today are not available for purchase because they were played at a live concert. In some cases, the musicians have recorded that same music for a commercial CD. If so, album title and recording label information will be available in the playlist.

Why can't I listen to the show?

First, try clicking on the Audio Help link at the very bottom of the web page. If that information doesn't help, please send us a detailed description of the problem and our web producer will try to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Please note that you can stream any PT show for up to thirty (30) days after it first broadcasts. After that thirty day window, the show will no longer be available.

Can I be a contestant on The Piano Puzzler®?

Yes! Please send us your name, phone number and a brief description of how you listen to Performance Today. We don't record new Piano Puzzlers each week, but we will do our best to include you for the next Puzzler recording session.

Can I send you a recording of my concert or recommend a concert for broadcast on Performance Today?

Yes! We now accept digital submissions of concert materials that have been approved by the artists. To receive login access to our submission system, please contact us. After your account has been created, you will be able to submit concert audio online*. Click here to read more about our specific audio requirements.

*For best results, please use Google Chrome to access the submission site.

How do I leave a comment?

Feel free to call our listener line to leave a comment or ask a question. Our number is 1-866-943-4450. With your permission, we may play some of the comments on the air. You can also email us at