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Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

About Composers Datebook

Composers Datebook is a daily two-minute program designed to inform, engage, and entertain listeners with timely information about composers of the past and present. Each program notes significant or intriguing musical events involving composers of the past and present—with appropriate and accessible music related to each.

John Birge

Host John Birge

Composers Datebook host John Birge is the morning drive host of Classical Minnesota Public Radio and starts up the Mozart for classical music lovers who need a civilized wake-up call to go along with their morning coffee. He has been hosting, producing and performing classical music for more than 20 years. He also is heard on APM holiday specials including Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food and Gratitude and Welcome Christmas!

Broadcasting Composers Datebook

For more information on broadcasting Composers Datebook, visit the American Public Media station site.

Composers Datebook credits

Composers Datebook is produced by American Public Media in association with the American Composers Forum. The creator of the series and its principal writer is John Michel of the American Composers Forum.


Composers Datebook was launched on March 1, 2000, by the American Composers Forum as an independently produced, 3-minute, Monday to Friday radio feature. Initial funding for the program was provided by the James Irvine Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Studio producer for the initial series was Tom Voegeli of Tom Voegeli Productions, with national distribution and marketing realized by Vic Muenzer and Noel Morris of CD Syndications, Inc. Bill Morelock served as broadcast host of Composers Datebook for its first year of production.

Within a month of its launch, Composers Datebook was heard on 46 stations coast to coast. By the end of 2000, that number had climbed to 173, representing 33 states and Puerto Rico. The program’s Web site was launched on July 3, 2000.

On December 6, 2000, the producers of Composers Datebook received the Deem Taylor Special Recognition Award "for the excellence of its broadcast service" from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) at a ceremony at the Lincoln Center's Kaplan Penthouse in New York City. On July 1, 2001, Composers Datebook became a co-production of American Public Media and the American Composers Forum. At that time, Composers Datebook became a daily, 2-minute feature, with a new production team from Minnesota Public Radio including Silvester Vicic and Leslie Crane. A daily Composers Datebook email newsletter was launched, as well as podcasts of the program. John Zech served as its broadcast host from 2001 until his retirement in 2018.

The current broadcast host of Composers Datebook is John Birge.