Julie Amacher

Julie Amacher

Host, Classical Music, New Classical Tracks
Minnesota Public Radio
jamacher@mpr.org

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, Wisc. 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.

Julie Amacher Feature Archive

anne akiko meyers four seasons vivaldi album
The latest disc from Anne Akiko Meyers features Vivaldi's classic of Baroque music -- played on a remarkable violin. Anne says that it's an exciting combination. It's on New Classical Tracks this week, and you have a chance to win a copy of the CD. (04/16/2014)
renee fleming guilty pleasures
Renee Fleming is used to a lot pressure. The stakes are pretty high every time she takes the stage. On her latest recording, she releases some of that pressure by sharing a few 'Guilty Pleasures'. (04/09/2014)
alisa weilerstein dvorak
Alisa Weilerstein's new CD is the culmination of a dream that began in early childhood. Her recording of Dvorak's cello concerto is featured on this week's New Classical Tracks. (04/02/2014)
Avi Avital's new disc shows his instrument -- the mandolin --traveling between folk and classical, and between the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and South America. (03/26/2014)
Bach's "two- and three-part inventions" are familiar to every piano student. On a new disc, they're performed by one of the leading young pianists of today. Simone Dinnerstein's new album is on this week's New Classical Tracks. (03/19/2014)
A new disc from the ensemble Rebel features concerti by Telemann, a composer who blended international styles and found that folk musicians offered him enough themes to last a lifetime. (03/12/2014)
Jan Lisiecki is a Canadian-born pianist with Polish roots who will turn 19 years old on March 23. But when Lisiecki speaks about his new recording of Chopin Etudes, it's quite apparent he is wise beyond his years. (03/05/2014)
The red carpet rolls out for the 86th Academy Awards this Sunday, March 2, but for many what really makes a movie memorable is the music. Benjamin Wallfisch's music for 'Summer in February' is truly memorable. PLUS: Sign up for a chance to win a copy of the CD. (02/26/2014)
The Knight Arts Challenge seeks to fund projects that benefit people in South Florida through the arts. Classical South Florida's Julie Amacher spoke to the Knight Foundation's Dennis Scholl about the Knight Arts Challenge, what it does and how one can apply. (02/19/2014)
More than a century after its opening, the prestige of performing in Carnegie Hall continues to draw the world's greatest artists, including Daniil Trifonov, a 22-year-old Russian who made his Carnegie Hall debut one year ago. His performance was captured on this new recording. (02/19/2014)
violinist Hilary Hahn made more than two dozen cold calls to solicit original compositions for her latest recording, 'In 27 Pieces'. Hear all about this new album on this week's New Classical Tracks. (02/12/2014)
The Met's current production of Dvorak's fairy-tale opera, 'Rusalka', features lush sets that could have been lifted directly out of a Tolkien story: realistic, but tinged with fantasy. Here's a slideshow of the production. (02/08/2014)
Soprano Renee Fleming went from singing the national anthem at the NFL's Super Bowl last Sunday to performing the title role in 'Rusalka' this weekend at the Met Opera. She shares some thoughts with Julie Amacher. (02/07/2014)
Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz's second recording for Deutsche Grammophon is a collection of Polonaises by Chopin. (02/05/2014)
On her latest recording, Rachel Barton Pine pairs the famous Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor with one that's rarely heard by Robert Schumann. (01/29/2014)