YourClassical, from American Public Media, is a collection of curated streams, unique programs and relevant features to connect classical listeners with the music they love.
Whether you’re relaxing after work, lulling your baby to sleep, or even powering through a tough workout, we’re here for you, with classical music for all of life’s moments. Tap into our collection of expertly selected pieces and listen to the world’s most enduring music.
YourClassical EIDA Statement
Equity, Inclusion, Diversity & Access (EIDA) are critical to our mission to serve our audiences.
We acknowledge that the music industry in all its forms, including those at YourClassical, have long benefited from and contributed to systems of oppression and white supremacy.
To that end, we, the music services of YourClassical and American Public Media, are united in our commitment to our audiences to transform ourselves into antiracist organizations that can lead change.
Equity, Inclusion, Diversity and Access at YourClassical starts in our workplace and extends to every region we touch, and we will use our resources and platforms in an impactful and responsible way.
We pledge to develop a better understanding around issues of bias and injustice through training, listening, analysis and structural change. We will build bridges to those who feel unheard. We are devoted to recruiting, hiring and investing in people who come from historically marginalized communities. We will include more voices in our programming with emphasis on those who have been historically silenced. We will expand our community partnerships to co-create content with under-represented groups. Additionally, we will distance ourselves from those who do not share our values of inclusivity and anti-racism.
YourClassical will work diligently to listen, learn and incorporate activities that improve our delivery of inclusive, equitable and diverse content, programming and dialogue that better represents the diversity of our world.
New Classical Tracks
Rhapsody in Black
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Julie Amacher's desire to introduce others to great music is what led her to radio. She began her professional broadcast career at a station in Sun Prairie, Wis. She went from rock 'n' roll to the Rocky Mountains, where she found her niche in public radio at KUNC in Greeley, Colo. Julie spent 13 years at KUNC, where she managed the announcers and their eclectic music format. During that time, she earned four national awards for best announcer. She joined Minnesota Public Radio in 1997 as an on-air host and also produces New Classical Tracks, a weekly podcast critiquing a new release each week. It airs locally at 7:15 a.m. Wednesdays and 5:15 p.m. Fridays.
For host Bonnie North, classical music is more than just a genre — it's a way of life. She stumbled into the world of radio after responding to a newspaper ad for Vermont Public Radio seeking a classical music DJ for its Sunday afternoon show. Despite having no previous radio experience, she was confident in her knowledge of classical music and took a chance. She created an audition tape, and the rest is history. Her favorite composer depends on her mood. Sometimes she seeks the meditative sounds of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, while other times she craves the angular compositions of Igor Stravinsky. Of course, she also loves the classics by composers who include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel. But she is always looking for contemporary composers and is eager to discover new musical talents. Outside of work, she loves to attend live music events. She also enjoys traveling and having friends and family scattered throughout the United States and Europe. But her love for animals is just as strong, and she often volunteers at animal shelters. She is an avid duathlon participant, combining her love for running and biking in one exciting event.
Steve Seel is the host of YourClassical’s weekly SymphonyCast and the trailblazing music show Extra Eclectic. He possesses a broad knowledge of many musical genres, having hosted radio programs ranging from classical to jazz and even avant-garde music at radio stations around the country. Steve began his love affair with public radio at 24 working whatever shifts he could at his hometown station of WUSF-FM in Tampa, Florida, and from there worked his way to snowy Buffalo, New York, and its renowned classical station WNED-FM, where he hosted middays and the weekly experimental-music show Present Tense. In 2005, Steve became one of the founding voices on Minnesota Public Radio's eclectic station, the Current. While there, he hosted afternoons and mornings, and conducted in-depth interviews with pop music luminaries ranging from Brian Eno to David Byrne to Tori Amos. Steve is a basement composer obsessed with all things both minimalist and slow, and might actually be incapable of writing anything that exceeds 75 beats-per-minute.
Steve Staruch can be heard on Classical Minnesota Public Radio from 3 to 7 p.m. weekdays, including hosting Music with Minnesotans, Regional Spotlight and Friday Favorites. Prior to joining the staff of MPR in 2004, Steve presented a variety of radio programs on WCAL in Northfield, Minn., where he created an immensely popular call-in program, and on WXXI in Rochester, N.Y. Outside radio, Steve also enjoys work as a freelance tenor and violist. Steve and his wife, Naomi, enjoy traveling, gardening and hosting dinner parties.
Lynne has been at this radio thing since 1984 when she fell into an historic job at KFAC AM and FM, the commercial classical station in Los Angeles. She was the first woman staff announcer in the station's history, and it was such big news back then, it made the LA newspapers and national radio publications. She is thrilled women in radio is no longer newsworthy.
John Birge has been hosting, producing and performing classical music for more than 25 years. Since 1997, he has been hosting on Minnesota Public Radio's Classical Music Service. He played French horn for the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra and performed with them on their centennial tour of Europe in 1995. He was trained at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy.
Since 2000, Fred Child has been the host of Performance Today, the most-listened-to classical music radio show in America. He also is the commentator and announcer for Live From Lincoln Center, the only live performing arts series on television. He also hosts musical events on stages around the country, working with major orchestras and festivals, and connecting with audiences coast to coast.
Building upon a curiosity which began in his teens, Michael Barone has been involved with the pipe organ for more than 40 years. As host and senior executive producer of Pipedreams, produced and distributed by American Public Media, he is recognized nationally for his outstanding contributions to the world of organ music. Pipedreams began in 1982 and remains the only nationally distributed weekly radio program exploring the art of the pipe organ. Michael's talent and commitment have been recognized with numerous awards, including the American Guild of Organists President's Award in 1996, the Distinguished Service Award of the Organ Historical Society in 1997 and the 2001 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. In November 2002 he was selected for induction to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. He also hosts broadcasts of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and The New Releases on Minnesota Public Radio.
Scott Blankenship started his radio career in college when he began working as a volunteer at a local cable radio station, announcing alternative and new rock music. His love and appreciation of classical music began at public radio station KVNO in Omaha, where he spent 13 years in various on-air and management roles, five of those years as the morning drive-time host. Indications that radio was in his blood go back to age five, when he used a corkboard and a battered phonograph as a makeshift radio studio; his father's Air Force issue flashlight served as his "on air" light. In his spare time, Blankenship is an avid cyclist and amateur playwright with several produced scripts to his credit.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Kevin O'Connor migrated to the Pacific Northwest, landing the requisite free-form overnight shift at his college station, KBSU, Boise. This was the first among many rungs in a public radio career that has always permitted him to express his passions for great music and explore his mercenary tendency toward spreading the message to anyone who will listen.
Melissa Ousley stumbled into a career in broadcasting many years ago when she moved to Wichita, Kansas to be near her soon-to-be husband. The attraction (to radio work, that is) was immediate and the chance to be around great music without having to practice piano was irresistible. After establishing herself as a host and producer in Kansas, Melissa moved to Minnesota and continued her work at WCAL in Northfield and Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul. Her morning classical show at WCAL was twice named "Best Classical Radio Program" by the Twin Cities paper City Pages. Melissa grew up near New York City. As a teenager, she attended the Preparatory Division of the Manhattan School of Music. Her bachelor's degree in music education is from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. When she's away from the airwaves, Melissa loves to run, read, and spend time with her family.
Mindy Ratner is a host and producer on the Classical Music Service of Minnesota Public Radio, where she is heard on weekends. She began her career in public broadcasting following her graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working first for the local public television station and then for Wisconsin Public Radio. She moved on to stations in Cincinnati and Philadelphia before joining Minnesota Public Radio in 1983. In 1998 and '99, Ratner took a leave of absence to work as a music host and producer for China Radio International in Beijing. Her spare time is devoted to international travel; folk, ballroom and contradancing; singing in the Minnesota Chorale; her two cats, and trying to stay ahead of the weeds in her garden.
Through her many mentors at KROC in Rochester, Minnesota, Melanie Renate learned how to splice tape in tandem with learning how to use her voice. She eventually found her path combining her ability to care for people with her love of radio broadcasting. As a certified health and wellness coach and a passionate yogi and mental-health advocate, she has developed a deep appreciation for ways in which music can aid in overall wellness. She is excited to bring her passion for people with her as she steps back behind the microphone as a classical host.
Valerie Kahler grew up in a musical family and started playing cello and piano in 3rd grade. She began her radio career in 1989 as a volunteer at KNAU (now Arizona Public Radio) in Flagstaff, Arizona. She worked there as a classical host and music director for more than a decade before moving to Minnesota to work for MPR. In addition to classical music, other passions include sewing, singing and cooking. She shares her life with her partner, John, an artist.
Ward Jacobson has enjoyed a radio career spanning over two decades as a morning show host and sportscaster, as well as producer/host of an interview program where he chatted with authors, musicians, politicians and newsmakers. He is also a past winner of the prestigious Marconi Award. Jacobson's love of classical music stems from a childhood influenced by his bass-baritone father and piano-teaching mother. While still a college student in Nebraska, he began singing with the Abendmusik Chorus and took part in concert tours to venues as varied as Englands Lincoln Cathedral, the Vatican, Salzburg Cathedral, Auschwitz and Moscow. When not singing, he works to develop his guitar-strumming repertoire.