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

Rachel Barton Pine - Mozart: Complete Violin Conce
Rachel Barton Pine has been playing Mozart's violin concertos since she was 10 years old. She's performed each of these five concertos many times since then. In 2011, she performed all five violin concertos in a single evening! Now, Rachel and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields have put them all on a single recording. (01/28/2015)
Daniel Hope, Escape to Paradise: Hollywood Album
On his latest release, 'Escape to Paradise: The Hollywood Album', violinist Daniel Hope looks at the development and creation of the so-called Hollywood sound. It's the featured album on New Classical Tracks. (01/21/2015)
Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Bach album
Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard spent seven months exploring Bach's first book of 'The Well-Tempered Clavier'. Along the way, Aimard also discovered that each one of these little masterpieces is now a personal favorite. Hear about Aimard's new album, 'Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier I'. (01/14/2015)
Any child whose parent sings him or her a lullaby is lucky indeed. But when your mother happens to be Anne Akiko Meyers, a renowned composer writes a lullaby for you, and Mom performs it on violin. Meyers shares the story and a music video for the lullaby created for her daughter, Natalie. (01/08/2015)
Three generations of mentorship, friendship and shared ideas coalesce on a new album that is the brainchild of violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, who's been inspired by all three of the American composers featured on this recording: Samuel Barber, John Corigliano and Mason Bates. (01/07/2015)
Flutist Eimear McGeown joins pianist Barry Douglas on a new collection of Irish airs titled <em>Celtic Reflections</em>. Hear about it on this week's New Classical Tracks. (12/31/2014)
Carols and Advent music are part of the new disc from the Norwegian group Trio Mediaeval, whose "instrument" is a blend of three women's voices. Hear samples of 'Aquilonis' on this week's New Classical Tracks. (12/24/2014)
Judith Clurman and Essential Voices USA have released a new album that is a stunning collection of music that celebrates Jewish holidays and the cycle of life. "I made this recording because I love this repertoire," Clurman says. (12/17/2014)
Miami-based Seraphic Fire's new album, 'Candlelight Carols', captures the beauty of the group's live holiday performances. It also includes works by Minnesota composers Jake Runestad and Abbie Betinis. What's more, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the CD. (12/10/2014)
Flutist James Galway has made 71 CDs for RCA, ranging from Mozart to movie music -- now brought together in one jumbo box set. (12/03/2014)
As a lot of people are traveling for Thanksgiving, Julie Amacher shares the music of a guitarist she discovered while waiting in the airport in Portland, Ore. It's fitting that guitarist Ryan Walsh was playing in an airport; his music incorporates styles he learned during his extensive travels. (11/26/2014)
Five of Sharon Isbin's classic recordings have been packaged into a new box set that highlights her career as a pioneering classical guitarist. (11/19/2014)
The new album from the choral ensemble Cantus, 'A Harvest Home', reflects the many experiences and moods of the Thanksgiving holiday. Plus, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the disc. (11/12/2014)
Genre-bending ensemble Brooklyn Rider release an album inspired by a 100-year-old, cross-disciplinary project. (11/05/2014)
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. (10/29/2014)