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, 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.


Julie Amacher Feature Archive

milos aranjuez
Guitarist Milos Karadaglic has just released his fourth and what he refers to as his most ambitious recording yet. This recording is a personal homage to musicians and composers who changed the course of history for the guitar. (08/27/2014)
voces8 eventide
"Eventide," by the British choir Voces8, offers music for the end of the day -- hushed, meditative, ethereal. It's on this week's New Classical Tracks. (08/13/2014)
zoforbit a space odyssey
With balletic movement and adventurous sonic exploration, the two pianists of ZOFO are a twenty-finger orchestra. (08/06/2014)
Leon Fleisher turned 86 last week. He's a pianist, a conductor, a chamber player, and to his many students at the Peabody Conservatory, he's Obi-Wan Kenobi, a master teacher. Now Fleisher is out with his first album in nearly a decade. (07/30/2014)
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis have released 'The Silver Album', a two-CD set featuring major sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, a few timeless encore pieces and a couple world-premiere recordings. The album celebrates their 25-year collaboration. (07/23/2014)
They say timing is everything. Acoustic trio Time for Three couldn't agree more. Just as their self-titled debut album was in the works, the trio made a splash for being denied seats on a plane - because they were carrying instruments. (07/16/2014)
The centerpiece of this new disc is a melodrama (music combined with the spoken word), drawing on works by Dvorak and the poet who inspired him -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (07/09/2014)
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. (07/02/2014)
A new collection of Schubert recordings by The Cypress String Quartet with Cellist Gary Hoffman provide a relaxing escape in which one loses track of time. (06/25/2014)
Angele Dubeau's new CD, 'Blanc', tells the violinist's story of her fight against breast cancer. The music and the color it evokes contain messages of healing and hope. (06/18/2014)
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Russell Smith, 78 students will perform by invitation as part of the prestigious International Festival of Music and Dance in Granada on June 21 and at two other performances in Spain. (06/12/2014)
Piano duo Anderson & Roe are really committed to their mission to make classical music a relevant and powerful force in society. Their new recoring, 'An Amadeus Affair,' celebrates their love of Mozart. Plus, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the CD. (06/11/2014)
Named for the standard orchestral tuning of 442 hertz, the new quartet known as the 442s make music that is anything but typical. Their new self-released CD is on this week's New Classical Tracks -- and you can enter to win a copy of it. (06/04/2014)
On his new album of concertos by Mendelssohn and Adams, violinist Chad Hoopes wanted to capture the youthful energy of the music by letting it flow from his instrument. (05/28/2014)
American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is nervous. On Friday, May 23, she'll give the commencement address to the graduates of the Juilliard School of Music. DiDonato spoke to Classical MPR's Julie Amacher about the task ahead. (05/22/2014)