- 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: 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.' Enter the giveaway for a chance to win the CD!
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.
New Classical Tracks: A Far Cry serves up a feast of fascinating 'Visions and Variations'
This week on New Classical Tracks, Boston-based ensemble, A Far Cry, explores the music of Prokofiev, Britten and Mozart in 'Visions and Variations.'
New Classical Tracks: Tesla Quartet performs its favorite works on debut album of Ravel, Haydn, and Stravinsky
This week on New Classical Tracks, the Tesla Quartet performs works by Haydn, Ravel and Stravinsky on its debut album.
New Classical Tracks: Jerry Junkin and the Dallas Winds celebrate 'John Williams at the Movies'
After a concert with the United States Marine Band, John Williams fell in love with arranging his famous movie music for wind band. The Dallas Winds, led by conductor Jerry Junkin, celebrates this exciting music on its latest recording, 'John Williams at the Movies.'
New Classical Tracks: Ronn McFarlane explores his Gaelic roots in 'The Celtic Lute'
The day Ronn McFarlane exchanged his electric guitar for the lute, he discovered a fascinating world of music that he is still exploring today. On his latest recording, 'The Celtic Lute,' McFarlane gets in touch with his Gaelic roots, performing Scottish and Irish music from the Baroque period.
New Classical Tracks: Boston Baroque takes deep dive into Biber's 'Mystery Sonatas'
In its new release, Boston Baroque performs Biber's 'Mystery Sonatas.' Concertmaster Christina Day Martinson and conductor Martin Pearlman share their thoughts on the works.
New Classical Tracks: Nash Ensemble celebrates the music of Erno Dohnanyi
The Nash Ensemble's new recording celebrates the vivacious chamber music of Hungarian composer Erno Dohnanyi.
New Classical Tracks: Simone Dinnerstein pairs Bach with new Philip Glass concerto in 'Circles'
In her new release 'Circles,' Simone Dinnerstein performs Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 7 and Glass' Piano Concerto No. 3 with the ensemble A Far Cry.
New Classical Tracks: Anderson and Roe Piano Duo honors mothers with musical tribute
In their new release, Elizabeth Joy Roe and Greg Anderson pay tribute to mothers with a dynamic program ranging from Simon & Garfunkel's Mrs. Robinson to Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
New Classical Tracks: Marin Alsop celebrates Bernstein's life and legacy
Conductor Marin Alsop celebrates the life, legacy and music of Leonard Bernstein with an 8-CD boxed set. She talks about the new release and her time with the maestro. Listen to the Bernstein stream on YourClassical.org, curated all month long by Alsop.
New Classical Tracks: Lara Downes celebrates Leonard Bernstein in 'For Lenny'
In her new release, 'For Lenny,' Lara Downes celebrates the life, music and imagination of Leonard Bernstein.
New Classical Tracks: Lisa Batiashvili explores the many 'Visions of Prokofiev'
In her new release, violin virtuoso Lisa Batiashvili explores the many sides of Sergei Prokofiev through his violin concertos, ballets and opera.
New Classical Tracks: Joshua Bell records Bruch's Scottish Fantasy for first time
Renowned violinist Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields perform Bruch's Violin Concerto in G minor and Scottish Fantasy on their new release.
New Classical Tracks: Rosen and Artymiw partner for Mendelssohn album
In their new release, Marcy Rosen and Lydia Artymiw perform the complete works for cello and piano by Felix Mendelssohn. Enter to win the CD!
New Classical Tracks: Kazem Abdullah evokes conflict, love in new Ravel recording
Conductor Kazem Abdullah and the Sinfonieorchester Aachen perform Ravel's 'Daphnis and Chloe' in their new release on Coviello Classics.
New Classical Tracks: Angela Hewitt explores Beethoven's piano sonatas
More than a decade ago, Angela Hewitt started to record all of the Beethoven piano sonatas. She recently released her latest in that series.
New Classical Tracks: Francisco Fullana explores past and present of 'Four Seasons'
Spanish violinist Francisco Fullana explores the parallels between Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' and Max Richter's 'The Four Seasons Recomposed' on his debut recording.