- Program Director, Classical Minnesota Public Radio, and Manager, C24
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.
Favorite classical music quote:
"Never compose anything unless the not composing of it becomes a positive nuisance to you." — Gustav Holst
First music recording you ever owned?
Actually, the first album I can remember really being enamored with was one my sister bought when I was 11 — Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman.
How did you get involved with classical music?
Virgil Thomson put it best: "Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not." That's pretty much how I came to classical music. I just kept trying it. First as a kid sitting on the piano bench listening and singing as my mother played all kinds of music including classical. In high school, I finally started taking voice lessons. That's when I discovered art songs by composers like Franz Schubert. Before coming to Minnesota Public Radio, I worked at a public radio station in Colorado that included classical music in its eclectic mix. Since coming to MPR, I've really immersed myself in it.
If a listener were to go for coffee with you, what's the first thing they'd learn about you?
That I love chai tea and chocolate! Usually when I get to chat with our listeners the first thing they ask is, "How do you come up with all those interesting things to say?" Well, I do a lot of digging. I'm really curious, and I know they are too, so I love digging for fun tidbits about the music and the artists who perform it.
Your favorite piece from the classical music play list archive?
Beethoven's Choral Fantasy (DG 453 798). Claudio Abbado/Berlin Philharmonic. Pianist Yevgeny Kissin. This is a piece that isn't heard very often, but for me, it epitomizes what Beethoven's all about. It starts off quietly, with piano alone, and gradually builds into a luscious precursor to his Ninth Symphony.
New Classical Tracks: Florence Price gets her due in new Naxos recording
This week on New Classical Tracks, conductor John Jeter shares insights into the Fort Smith Symphony's new recording, which celebrates composer Florence Price. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the new CD.
New Classical Tracks: Clara Osowski explores jazz and poetry in collaborative debut album
This week on New Classical Tracks, Clara Osowski explores jazz and poetry in her genre-bending debut album, 'Haunted Blue,' which features a range of songs written for her by jazz pianist Jeremy Walker.
New Classical Tracks: Osmo Vanska shares insights into Mahler's Resurrection Symphony
This week on New Classical Tracks, conductor Osmo Vanska shares insights into the Minnesota Orchestra's new recording of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony.
New Classical Tracks: Morten Lauridsen explores light, poetry, and nature in new album
This week on New Classical Tracks, composer Morten Lauridsen shares insights into his latest album, 'Light Eternal,' which features two world premieres alongside a number of his most popular works.
New Classical Tracks: Kim Kashkashian delves into Bach's Six Suites
Though Bach's Six Suites are most commonly heard as works for solo cello, they have been played on a range of instruments over the years. This week on New Classical Tracks, Kim Kashkashian brings them to life on viola.
New Classical Tracks: The OK Factor plays music from the heart in new lullaby album
This week on New Classical Tracks, Olivia Diercks and Karla Colahan of the violin-cello duo the OK Factor share insights into their new release, 'Love, the OK Factor: Lullabies and Love Songs.'
New Classical Tracks: Cally Banham and Cortango get to the heart of the holiday season
This week on New Classical Tracks, English horn player Cally Banham and her band Cortango are joined by members of the St. Louis Symphony on 'Cor Christmas,' featuring festive arrangements of holiday favorites -- with a few surprises on the way.
New Classical Tracks: Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo's Fire celebrate 'Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain'
This week on New Classical Tracks, Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo's Fire celebrate 'Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain' with traditional Celtic folk carols and later adaptions from the heart of Appalachia.
New Classical Tracks: Chanticleer celebrates its 40th anniversary
This week on New Classical Tracks, male vocal ensemble Chanticleer celebrates its 40th anniversary. Its latest release, 'Then and There, Here and Now,' takes a look back at the ensemble's history, and includes everything from Renaissance music to gospel and beyond.
New Classical Tracks: The Danish String Quartet connects the dots between Beethoven and Bach
This week on New Classical Tracks, the Danish String Quartet kicks off a 5-CD project connecting the dots from Bach to Beethoven and beyond. 'Prism I' traces the influence of a Bach fugue through Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 15 and Beethoven's String Quartet No. 12.
New Classical Tracks: Hilary Hahn plays the heartstrings of Bach
This week on New Classical Tracks, violinist Hilary Hahn revisits the music of Bach, finding new ways of looking at favorite works that have been at the heart of her life for decades.
New Classical Tracks: Patrick Hawes commemorates WWI with 'The Great War Symphony'
This week on New Classical Tracks, composer Patrick Hawes describes the inspiration behind his latest work, 'The Great War Symphony,' which received its U.S. premiere this past Veterans Day to mark the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice.
New Classical Tracks: Manfred Honeck takes a fresh look at Strauss and Beethoven
This week on New Classical Tracks, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra showcase the nuances of Beethoven's 'Eroica' Symphony, together with a warm and light interpretation of Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1.
Clear your mind with a classical music playlist from Julie Amacher
When life is hectic or you need a break from the news, feel better and live bigger with classical music. Classical host Julie Amacher provides a playlist of music she uses to help clear her mind.
New Classical Tracks: Anne Akiko Meyers collaborates with leading composers
This week on New Classical Tracks, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers talks about her collaborations with composers Philip Glass, John Corigliano, Morten Lauridsen and others for her latest release, 'Mirror in Mirror.'
New Classical Tracks: Amit Peled finds inspiration in Casals' cello
In his new recording with Noreen Polera, cellist Amit Peled brings Brahms' cello sonatas to life on the instrument of Pablo Casals.
New Classical Tracks: Rachel Barton Pine celebrates the music of black composers
This week on New Classical Tracks, Rachel Barton Pine talks about her connection to the blues and shares some extraordinary music by black composers featured on her latest album, 'Blues Dialogues.'
New Classical Tracks: Nadine Sierra sings the story of the immigrant
Opera singer Nadine Sierra became the youngest winner of the Metropolitan Opera Council auditions at the age of 21. This week on New Classical Tracks, she explores the immigrant experience with her new recording, 'There's a Place for Us.'
New Classical Tracks: Mark McKenzie and the bittersweet story of 'Max and Me'
Mark McKenzie has orchestrated music for more than 100 films and composed 25 original scores. His latest film, 'Max and Me,' tells the true story of a priest who struggled to keep compassion alive in Nazi-occupied Europe, and features performances by Joshua Bell and the London Singers.
New Classical Tracks: Gerstein plays Gershwin
This week on New Classical Tracks, pianist Kirill Gerstein dives into the music of George Gershwin. His latest recording, 'The Gershwin Moment,' features live performances of 'Rhapsody in Blue,' the Piano Concerto in F and more with the St. Louis Symphony and conductor David Robertson.