- 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: 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. Enter to win the CD!
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.
New Classical Tracks: Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque reimagine 'Four Seasons'
In their new release, Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque ensemble bring imaginative new ideas to Vivaldi's iconic 'Four Seasons.'
New Classical Tracks: Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the SPCO win a Grammy with Schubert
Violinist and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Artistic Partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja won a Grammy with the ensemble for their recording, 'Schubert: Death and the Maiden.'
Patricia Kopatchinskaja explores musical fragments with the SPCO
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra performed with artistic partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja in a program that explored the mystery behind various incomplete musical fragments as well as music from their Grammy-winning album, Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden' Quartet.
New Classical Tracks: Norman Krieger climbs musical mountains with London Symphony Orchestra
Pianist Norman Krieger partners with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Philip Ryan Mann for Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2. The formidable concerto is paired with the composer's Piano Sonata No. 1.
New Classical Tracks: Kantorei explores music of Arnesen in 'Infinity'
In their new release 'Infinity,' Denver vocal ensemble Kantorei and conductor Joel Rinsema explore the music of Kim Andre Arnesen.
New Classical Tracks: Xiayin Wang gets goosebumps from Granados' 'Goyescas' suite
In her new album, pianist Xiayin Wang performs Granados works inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya.
New Classical Tracks: Miro Quartet expresses hope and struggle in new Beethoven album
The Miro Quartet finds Beethoven a perfect fit as it tackles more of his string quartets in its latest recording. Enter the giveaway for the new CD!
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: Seong-Jin Cho brings Debussy to life in new album
In his new release, 2015 Chopin Competition gold medalist Seong-Jin Cho performs works by Debussy.
New Classical Tracks: Alsop leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in new Prokofiev recording
Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a new recording of Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet.'
New Classical Tracks: Lara Downes celebrates Bernstein in 'For Lenny'
In her new release, 'For Lenny,' Lara Downes celebrates the life, music and imagination of Leonard Bernstein.
Women's History Spotlight: Maud Powell
Violinist Maud Powell, who died in 1920, became the first female instrumentalist of any instrument for any genre to receive a Grammy lifetime achievement award, but not until 2014.
Women's History Spotlight: Nadia Boulanger
Nadia Boulanger was an influential teacher to some of the brightest musical minds of the 20th century. She was also the first woman to grace the podium of several major orchestras.
Women's History Spotlight: Mary Bowden
Trumpeter Mary Bowden is the founder of Seraph Brass, an all-female brass ensemble.
New Classical Tracks: Seraph Brass performs old favorites and new commissions in 'Asteria'
Trumpeter Mary Bowden is the founder of Seraph Brass, which has just released its first recording titled, 'Asteria.' It's filled with arrangements of some of Mary's favorite classical pieces, and a few new works commissioned by the ensemble.