In memoriam: Classical host Bob Christiansen

Bob Christiansen does his last shift on Classical Minnesota Public Radio on Dec. 30, 2017.Elena See/MPR

All Things Considered: Bob Christiansen remembered


November 11, 2019
Bob Christiansen's last broadcast
by MPR

Editor's note: Longtime classical radio host Bob Christiansen, who retired almost two years ago, has died at 72 after a battle with cancer. Listen as Tom Crann and Bill Morelock remember him on All Things Considered and hear an excerpt from his last broadcast on Dec. 30, 2017, as we honor his time with Classical MPR and American Public Media. And then read the tribute below that we ran when he retired.

For 51 years, Bob Christiansen would interweave his knowledge of classical music and history with his sharp wit and talent for foreign languages to bring listeners the beauty of classical music.

With a degree in history, he began his broadcast career at WNIU at Northern Illinois University. From there he moved to Phoenix and then to Washington State University, where he met and teamed up with Bill Morelock. In 1987, they created the nationally syndicated "Bob and Bill," winner of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award for excellence in programming.

For the past 25 years, Bob has graced the evening airwaves of Classical Minnesota Public Radio and was heard nationally as part of American Public Media's 24-hour classical music service, including the Radio stream on YourClassical. He hung up his headphones on Dec. 30, 2017.

Click the player above to hear a few highlights from his final evening on the air.

Listeners wrote in from around the country to wish Bob well. Here are a few responses:

Dawn from Munith, Mich.: "I have for several years made a work related commute of about 2½ hours twice a week. Classical music is always my companion, and I have especially appreciated Bob's comments. Your retirement seems like the loss of a good friend."

John from Hamilton County, Tenn.: "Have a happy retirement. Have listened to you for many years."

Eleanor from Palm Beach, Fla.: "Best of everything on your retirement, Bob. I always enjoy 9 p.m. Saturday on Radio."

Sharon from Copper Harbor, Mich.: "I can't express how much I've enjoyed listening to him in the evenings, both on WGGL and online. I wish him the very best in his new life. I only wish he was staying on air."