Performance Today celebrates 30 years
Performance Today 1987 pilot episode
Thirty years ago, producer Wes Horner had a great idea for a new program. It would be, as he said, "the radio version of the New York Times Arts and Leisure section." Performance Today went on the air for the first time in January, 1987.
The show has evolved considerably since then. After a few years, the arts and culture show narrowed its focus to classical music. In 2007, the show moved its production for NPR in Washington, D.C. to American Public Media in St. Paul, Minn. Fred Child became the program's host in 2000. Other elements remained the same: a conversational approach, outstanding musical performances and one of the most iconic theme songs in all of public radio.
Fred Child recently sat down with Wes Horner and Jim Pugh, the composer of the theme, to talk about Performance Today's early years.