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 the Host

Fred Child

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.

Evan Clark

Evan Clark, Technical Producer

Evan got his start in broadcast at KUVO in Denver, where he had the opportunity to record world-class performers such as Chris Thile, Yo Yo Ma and the Colorado Symphony. Those early experiences sparked a passion for wanting to record some of the very best musicians in classical music. After a few years at the Aspen Music Festival, he moved to Minnesota, where he later began working with Performance Today. Evan holds an MM in Tuba Performance and remains active as a performer in the Twin Cities. When he is not recording Performance Today or playing music, he enjoys being outdoors, running and spending most of his time with his wife, daughter and two big dogs.

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.

Meghann Oglesby

Meghann Oglesby, Producer

Meghann comes to the Performance Today team from the Mid-South, where she spent the past five years in academics. Her last year was spent managing the Lane College radio station in Jackson, Tenn. Meghann is a mom, a part-time actress and a fashion lover.

Kathleen Bradbury

Kathleen Bradbury, Associate Producer

As an Associate Producer for Performance Today, Kathleen Bradbury writes scripts and assists with external communications. In her spare time, she likes to read fiction, lift heavy weights at the gym, and frolic about in nature. But above all else, Kathleen loves to sing Broadway showtunes--much to the delight of her wife, her infant son, and her rescue dog.

Jon Gohman

Jon Gohman, Associate Producer

Jon Gohman is an associate producer for Performance Today. He is responsible for various behind-the-scenes functions, including liaising with artists and creating materials for national distribution. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing the guitar, and thinking about Langrange points.

Tyler Gardin

Tyler Gardin, Music Logger

Tyler has a lifelong passion for all things involving sound. He has studied music and audio production and worked in various areas of the music business. After spending some time recording in Los Angeles, he came to Minnesota Public Radio to expand into the world of capturing a live classical performance. He also enjoys experimenting with electronics and odd instruments, and builds cigar-box guitars in his spare time.

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 play button. If that information doesn’t help, refresh your browser window. If you’re still having trouble, 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 mail@performancetoday.org.