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Marvin Rosen's classical discoveries page

The art of the classical radio deejay website

Say you’ve got a classical music radio show on some college or public radio station. Like a lot of classical radio deejays, you may be the sole representative of this genre on your signal. Everybody else does a pop genre, or jazz or folk or something along those lines. Under these circumstances, it makes sense for you to set up a website for yourself where you can share news, playlists, and other goodies with your listeners.

Marvin  Rosen

Marvin Rosen

Classical pianist Marvin Rosen over at WPRB-FM, housed at Princeton University in New Jersey, is lucky. He’s part of a consistent lineup of classical deejays who regale the Princeton area most mornings. But he’s still got a nice website that’s worth noticing. It’s called Classical Music Discoveries, and it furthers Rosen’s mission, which is to focus on the two areas of the repertory most neglected—the pre-Baroque era, and the modern period.

At Rosen’s Discoveries page, you can listen to his WPRB programs, access archives of various compositions, read his blog, and mosey over to his Facebook page. I think that if you are doing classical radio, it makes a lot of sense to invest in some kind of online venue where your listeners can get more from your program, especially given the relative scarcity of classical radio fare.

Sarah Cahill

Sarah Cahill

Rosen is not the only pianist/radio deejay with a cool website. In the San Francisco Bay Area there’s the very accomplished Sarah Cahill, who broadcasts over KALW-FM. Cahill’s Revolutions Per Minute show is heard on Sunday evenings from eight until ten PM. KALW also airs Music from Other Minds and Jim Sveda’s The Record Shelf. Of course just about every classical music deejay has an official page on their respective radio station, but a tip of the hat here to the ones who go the extra mile and set up their own online presence.

In the coming months I plan to set up a directory at Radio Survivor of classical music shows and radio stations, with an eye towards creating some kind of database driven aggregation of this content for classical music lovers. This will include developers who run classical Spotify playlist sites and such. That’s a big project. In the meantime, help me out by telling me what you are doing to promote your classical music show.

Congratulations, by the way, to The Radio Arts Foundation, which celebrates the one year anniversary of bringing classical music back to St. Louis following the demise of KFUO-FM in July of 2010. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that RAF’s fare is far more varied and interesting than the old KFUO (I’m listening to the HD stream I write this entry and I agree). On the other hand, the site doesn’t seem to have a program directory and the FM signal is much weaker. But Rome wasn’t built in a day—or a year. What matters is that the music is there, served up with love by real people.

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4 Responses to The art of the classical radio deejay website

  1. Brad Hill April 14, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    Interesting! Especially as I did a classical music shift at WPRB for several years … long, long ago. 🙂 I remember those early mornings, and I am decidedly not a morning person.

  2. Jaxon Lee Swain April 14, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Hello I host EARLY MUSIC PARTY on ARTXFM (

    Currently broadcasting exclusively over the internet, via our site and a free smartphone app!

    Also have connected with Early Music enthusiasts around the world via Twitter (@earlymusicparty)

    Nice to meet you all! 🙂

  3. Rachel Katz April 14, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    You’ve got some great ideas here. Please keep our station, WWFM, in West Windsor, NJ, in mind – we have about a dozen specialty shows that we produce spanning everything from Early Music to contemporary compositions, piano music, choral music, film music, and some cultural affairs programming. We’re at, in addition to our broadcast signal.

  4. mary ann joyce April 24, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    It will be wonderful to have a list of these various radio shows. I have listened to Marvin Rosen’s Classical Discoveries shows for several years, and have found this program to be so comprehensive, instructional and substantive in its design, music lists, his guests, etc. Just a visit to the webpage will indicate the vast variety of the music he brings to his listening audience. The themes include “Sacred Bridges” with music from multiple religious traditions (including music that I have never heard before from, for example, Hindu and Sikh composers, , “In Praise of Woman,” several hours dedicated to music by women, especially music by living female composers, “Voyages to Many Countries,” which includes pieces – many of them from the late 20th and early 21st century composers, etc. Mr. Rosen’s program could easily be the basis for several syllabi for college music courses; I have, in fact, built courses in contemporary music practices at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, using music from these various playlists. I highly recommend this radio show to any teacher looking for a wealth of material from all musical style periods that is well-organized and accessible for practical use. (And I understand from a colleague that he does this show gratis!) Please continue with your plan – it is a great idea!

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