Viva 21st Century Music

In late November of 2003, when I piled up CD’s for my WPRB winter break specials, the idea of a new program with music from the 21st century started to take shape. I did not have many new music recordings for my first program, but managed to mix the ones I had with some of my favorite earlier selections.

Flute - Courtesy: Azerbaijani Artist Namig Mammadov at:

The end of the 20th century was very disappointing to me for various reasons. At that time I stopped listening to classical radio and going to live concerts with a few exceptions. Heavily advertised musical tributes to 20th century music presented mainly 80-90 year old warhorses. There is so much more to music of that period.

How I dreamed to hear  performances of symphonies by Henry Cowell, Harrison, Hovhaness and other American composers, live in the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Not even one of them was represented in those tributes, nor as I recall any woman composer. It was like the clock stopped  after the 1st half of the 20th century.

My second program was 100 percent devoted to new music, but I had never imagined that 9 years later I would be able to present a continuous 24-hour program of 21st century music. I actually could do at least 4-5 more marathons, judging from the piles I am looking at right now.  I will take a rain check on those however!

Marathons?  It is all Jon’s fault. I am referring to Jon Solomon – WPRB legend, and veteran of the Christmas Marathons, of which this year will be his 24th.

When in 2007 I realized that my 5 plus hours would not let me present all of what I wanted, I looked  to Jon for inspiration and decided to give it a try. Here I am 4 years later getting ready for my 5th Winter Marathon joining the ranks of radio broadcaster junkies.

I must admit, that all suggestions on how to survive 24 hours on the air I received from Jon.  One more thing I do is that I treat myself to acupuncture a few hours before the Marathon. The hardest thing for me is to keep off bread for 24 hours!!  I love a good loaf of sour dough!!!

If you are curious, I never nap during the time I am on the air so, if anyone wants to call me when the music is playing please do so at 609-258-1033. I will need the support of my audience and friends, especially during late at night and the early morning hours when I will be totally alone. Also, if you are in the neighborhood, please visit me. The more action in the studio I have, the easier it will be for me to survive the 24 hours of madness.

This 9th Annual program is the 5th, 24-Hour Marathon totally devoted to new music composed in the 21st century. It will start on:

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 1:00pm and will end: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 1:00pm


In a few days you will find some featured composers listed on the home page of the Classical Discoveries website at:  and on the Facebook Event Page at:


The program will air on WPRB 103.3 FM Princeton and on the Internet around the world at:

For Internet listeners link to excellent Time Zone Converter:

Other 24-hour new music Marathons

12-27/28-2009 – 24-hour Marathon – WOMEN COMPOSERS EDITION
09-08/09-2009 – 24-hour Marathon – AMERICAN EDITION
12-26/27-2008 – 24-hour Marathon – INTERNATIONAL EDITION
12-27/28-2007 – 24-hour Marathon – INTERNATIONAL EDITION

I hope that you can catch at least part of the WPRB Marathon madness.

Viva 21st Century, Viva New Music, and Viva Living Composers!!!



Christmas Trylogy and other jingles

I promised my friends last year that any time I have special events on Classical Discoveries I would post them in my blog. So far, I have generally not kept my promise. Maybe this would be a good New Year’s resolution?

I am a nice Jewish boy who gets excited about all my Christmas specials. Yes, I do!!

Well, not only Christmas specials.  After all, I present Jewish inspired music for Hanukkah, black composers for Kwanzaa and one of my favorites, Shall We Dance – a really fun show just before the New Year. If there were any Muslim holidays, at this time, I would have a special for that occasion also. For me there are no religious, cultural or social barriers. I just love all kinds of music.

I am not mentioning now my VIVA 21ST Century marathon since I am hoping to write a separate blog about it.

So this is how it goes.

I added some links from earlier specials. If you never heard any of these, you will get a good idea and to what I do and figure out why I am so excited about these programs. Also, please check my website before each show for more details at:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 – from 5:30 till 11:00am and from 11:00am till 1:00pm – the 15th Annual program: 


Tuesday, December 20, 2011  from 5:30 till 8:30am – the 7th Annual program


Devoted to music for the holiday season by American composers

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 – from 8:30 till 11:00am –


Title of this program inspired by the beautiful Sephardic lullaby. Music of Jewish inspiration to celebrate Hanukkah

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 – from 5:30 till 1:00pm – the 15th Annual program 


Lesser-known works of early music works celebrating the holiday, as well as some of my favorites.

I hope that listeners of my avant-garde show will forgive me for skipping this week’s show.  However, who can resist beautiful early music at the time when the world is lit with millions of Christmas lights.

Saturday, December 24, 2011 – from 5:30 till 9:00am


Monday, December 26, 2011 – 1:00pm till Tuesday, December 27, 2011 – 1:00pm


More about this in my next blog

Al Compas de un Tango (To the beat of a tango)- Courtesy: Artist Lesley Mitchell

Al Compas de un Tango (To the beat of a tango)- Courtesy: Artist Lesley Mitchell

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 – from 5:30 till 11:00am and from 11:00am till 1:00pm – the 15th Annual program –


Please put on your dancing shoes and costumes, because this show will be fun.

Saturday, December 31, 2010 – from 5:30 till 9:00am – the 8th Annual –


 Kwanzaa Celebration with music by black composers.

That is all for now. I hope that you will be able to tune at least to some of those specials and please remember that WPRB 103.3FM is heard all over the world at

I wish you all a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season and New Year.


My radio hero “Diamond Jim”

Jim and Marvin, Dec. 05, 2006

I cannot believe how fast time goes. I will always remember however, December 5th, 2006 when I met for the first time my radio hero, Jim Nettleton, so-called “Diamond Jim”.

He had a 50-year career in radio working for WFIL and WOGL (Philadelphia), WABC (New York) and many other stations and just started a 50’s/60’s Oldies Internet station.

My interest in possible  involvement with something similar for new music, like my program at WPRB, prompted me to search the Internet.

In 2006, on the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving, I found his email address on the Internet and wrote to him with questions about Internet radio, not expecting much.

Within hours I received a response and an invitation for lunch.

Since he lived not far away we met for lunch at a local restaurant. I was very nervous and remember standing near the restaurant’s entrance wondering if I would recognize him. When he walked in, I knew immediately and said to myself “Oh my God, that’s him!! That’s Jim Nettleton.”

From the first moments of our meeting I felt that I knew him in person for years. We talked about Internet radio and his career as well as music. We talked about not only popular music, but also jazz, bluegrass and to my surprise – classical. Like me, he hated to categorize music.

The lack of creativity on many homogeneous  radio stations disturbed him. He said something to me I will always remember,  “Unpredictability is entertainment.”

How true it is, regardless of what radio format one listens to.  His vision for rock and roll stations was the same as mine for classical.

After that meeting we kept in touch by e-mails and occasional lunches.  The last time I communicated with him was in 2009, only a little over a month before his death.  At that time he was going through a number of tests while being optimistic, we were planning meet again soon. I was hoping that he would be the DJ for my recent high school reunion.

His death hit me very hard. I do miss  his voice on the radio and am very sorry that I didn’t contact him sooner. I guess I was just afraid that he would ignore me.

When I presented Jim’s memorial tribute on Classical Discoveries, I had a hard time controlling my voice.

Since Jim also did Voiceovers, I still occasionally hear his voice on television.

You can read more about Jim and his incredible career and listen to his glorious  reading  of “Yes, Virginia”.  Just perfect nostalgia for the upcoming holidays.

“Yesterday” – In Memory of Jim Nettleton on Classical Discoveries

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