Classical MPR Names Melissa Ousley New Host of Minnesota Orchestra Broadcasts

Aug 12, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 12, 2019 – Classical MPR’s Melissa Ousley will become the host of the Friday evening live Minnesota Orchestra broadcasts at the start of the 2019/2020 season beginning Sept. 20.

Ousley is taking the reins from Classical MPR managing director Brian Newhouse, who signed off from the live orchestra broadcast in June after more than 25 years in the position. Newhouse will continue in his role leading MPR and American Public Media’s classical programming.

Ousley’s will be a familiar voice to listeners, as she has served as substitute host for Newhouse in recent years. She will continue to host Classical MPR’s live broadcasts of Minnesota Opera and serve as fill-in host for both Classical MPR and Classical24.

“It has always been a dream of mine to host live broadcasts. I love the idea that you're taking the listener into a space and letting them hear and even ‘see’ what's going on,” said Ousley. “I still get a thrill when I walk into Orchestra Hall and head to the broadcast booth. I have so much respect for the musicians in the Minnesota Orchestra and feel privileged to be able to play a small part in sharing what they do so well with our listeners.”

Ousley got her start in broadcast as a classical host, music director and producer at Radio Kansas before moving to Minnesota to become a public radio classical host at Northfield’s then-WCAL. She took her talents to St. Paul in 2004 as assistant music director and classical music producer for Classical MPR and Classical24.

Ousley holds a bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and attended the Preparatory Division of the Manhattan School of Music as a teenager.

“We are thrilled to welcome Melissa Ousley as the new radio voice of the Minnesota Orchestra,” said Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns. “Her warmth and authentic style and her credibility as a musical storyteller make her a great fit for this role and for what we strive to communicate with the listening audience. We look forward to our new Friday night partnership.”

The Minnesota Orchestra and MPR have a decades-long broadcasting relationship, with the first live concert broadcast taking place in 1971. By 1974, the two organizations had established a regular weekly broadcast for listeners across Minnesota.

Fans can hear Ousley’s debut as full-time broadcast host on Friday, Sept. 20, with an 8 p.m. concert led by Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä. The live broadcast can be heard in the Twin Cities on 99.5FM or streamed online from anywhere.


About Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota Public Radio® operates a 46-station radio network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states for more than 50 years. Reaching more than 1 million listeners each week, MPR and its three regional services—MPR News, Classical MPR and The Current®—produce programming for radio, digital and live audiences. Programs produced by MPR’s national programming division, American Public Media®, more than 19 million listeners via 1,000 radio stations nationwide each week. APM is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world, and produces award-winning podcasts spanning the best in investigative journalism, food, business and entertainment. For more information on MPR, visit

Source: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio. Data are estimates only.