Rachel Katz

WWFM Production Manager and Host of A Tempo

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.

From an early age, Rachel Katz earned a reputation in her family for both sharing stories (a “town-crier” of sorts) and also sitting back while older family members shared theirs, taking it all in as a quiet observer.  Rachel pursued degrees in history at The University of Connecticut and Russian/Soviet studies and journalism at the University of Michigan, which soon set her on the path as a foreign correspondent in the early and mid-1990s. She worked in St. Petersburg, Russia, for three years, writing for UPI, The St. Petersburg Press, AP and The Moscow Times, as well as a variety of other  US national and regional publications. Back in the US, she worked at The Connecticut Post and as business editor of The (Norwalk) Hour before moving to Bloomberg News, where she covered retail and other business news.

Interested in exploring radio, she took broadcast classes and landed a job at The Classical Network as a production assistant and the opportunity to produce her own public affairs program, Views and Voices. As host and producer now of A Tempo, she brings her storytelling and reporter experience – and her love of music - to the world of arts and culture, exploring the challenges and opportunities facing the music world today.

In addition to playing violin with the Westminster Community Orchestra, Rachel enjoys fencing, birdwatching and salsa/swing/ballroom dancing.

Ways to Connect

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier this year unveiled some of the main components of its renovated musical instrument galleries, and this Saturday A Tempo (7/21 at 7 pm) takes us on a tour through some of the highlights.

NJSO

A Tempo this week (7/14 at 7 pm) visits with the four young composers participating in this year's New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, held this past week on the campus of Princeton University.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the performing arts organizations located in the city's deluged arts district faced some difficult challenges as they sought to keep their planned seasons intact. This Saturday on A Tempo (7/7 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz checks in with the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera about how the hurricane impacted their plans, and how these organizations rebounded and worked around the challenges thrown at them throughout the season.

NASA

Now in its seventh season, Off the Hook Arts' SummerFest in Fort Collins, CO, brings together music, visual arts and multimedia together with researchers and scientists to delve into a variety of timely topics, and this year's festival heads into the cosmos for "Mission Earth." A Tempo this Saturday (6/30 at 7 pm) looks at the highlights as host Rachel Katz speaks with composer Bruce Adolphe, who serves as Artistic Director and will premiere his work, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the world is, based on the words of astronaut and meteorologist Dr. Piers Sellers.

Rider University this past week announced that it had signed a purchase and sale agreement to sell Westminster Choir College to a group of three entities affiliated with Beijing-based Kaiwen Education. This Saturday (6/23 at 7 pm) A Tempo looks at what the new agreement adds to ongoing discussions over the possible sale of the school and its future. Westminster this week was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. 

Fred Stucker

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra announced Sunday that Music Director Xian Zhang has extended her contract by four years, which will enable her to lead the Newark, NJ-based orchestra through its 100th anniversary and beyond. This Saturday on A Tempo (6/16 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will speak with Zhang about her decision to commit through the 2023-2024 season, as well as with NJSO President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst. The program will also feature a conversation with José Luis Dominguez, who was named Artistic Director of the NJSO Youth Orchestras.

Jessi Franko Designs LLC

In an effort to expand its reach to new, particularly younger audiences, The Princeton Festival has announced a new "Young Friends of the Princeton Festival" program. This week on A Tempo (6/9 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will speak with CJ Ru, the Princeton Festival's director of operations, about this program, which includes discounted tickets on select performances  of the Festival's opera production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and a drink at intermission to those between the ages of 21 and 40.

McDowell Colony

Dan Moses Schreier has spent more than three decades crafting the soundscapes of plays and musicals, including the current revival of Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh," for which he received his fifth Tony Nomination.  This Saturday (6/2 at 7 pm) A Tempo host Rachel Katz interviews Schreier about how he goes about creating the aural atmosphere of a stage production and how advances in technology have created new challenges and opportunities over the years. 

 

Rosalie O’Connor

Discussions on how to break through the glass ceiling in the arts are growing, and this week on A Tempo (5/26 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz explores a new initiative by American Ballet Theatre to support the work of female choreographers, called Women's Movement. Featured guests are ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie and choreographer Jessica Lang, one of the choreographers whose work will be included in next year's season. 

WWFM had several visitors on May 18 as part of the Mercer County Teen Arts Festival, sponsored by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission and held at Mercer County Community College. Production Manager and A Tempo host Rachel Katz led a workshop showing students what goes into creating a show and being on the air. As always, it was great to meet these students who appreciate music and the arts!

David Swanson

A Tempo wraps up its commencement series this Saturday (5/19 at 7 pm) with a conversation with Joseph W. Polisi, who is stepping down this year after 34 years as President of The Juilliard School. The Curtis Institute of Music presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award "in recognition of his extraordinary influence on the lives and development of actors, dancers, and musicians as performers, creators, and artist-citizens," and he was invited to deliver the Commencement address.

A Tempo this week continues its focus on accomplished musicians who are sharing their experiences and advice with the next generation of musicians. Host Rachel Katz will speak with two of the artists being honored this year by the Cleveland Institute of Music - harpist Ann Hobson Pilot, who became the first African American woman to hold a principal position in a major U.S.

We're celebrating the birthdays of Brahms and Tchaikovsky today - and hope that you will join us in membership, either by becoming a new member, renewing your membership or making an additional donation. Think of it as a birthday gift to all the great composers out there, past and present. And when you donate, you can cast your vote for your favorite of these two titans of the Romantic era.

Brahms and Tchaikovsky were totally B.F.F. – Best Frenemies Forever.

With graduation season underway, A Tempo this week begins a short series of conversations with accomplished musicians who are giving back to young artists or imparting their wisdom at Commencement ceremonies. This Saturday (4/5 at 7 pm) host Rachel Katz chats with Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim, who frequently performs with youth and community orchestras and will be the soloist in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with West Windsor, NJ-based Sinfonietta Nova on Sunday May 6.

The 2018 New York Opera Fest gets underway May 1, and this Saturday (4/28) A Tempo offers a preview of its diverse productions and offerings - ranging from fully staged productions to immersive events in smaller venues to a downloadable podcast. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Peter Szep, co-founder and chair of the festival, about highlights and how the New York opera scene is expanding and evolving. Tune in Saturday at 7 pm. 

As the orchestral world strives for greater diversity among musicians, a variety of programs to support musicians of color, who face multiple challenges on their path to an orchestral seat, have been explored. Recently, three organizations that have been tackling some of these issues - The Sphinx Organization, The League of American Orchestras and the New World Symphony - have brought their expertise and experience together, joining in a partnership to launch the National Alliance for Audition Support.

Mark Garvin

When the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania opened in 1971, its goal was to serve the diverse and changing audiences of Philadelphia and the region. Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits, who took the helm in September 2016, has kept that mission front and center in planning the center's programming.

Vera Herman Goodkin was just shy of her 9th birthday when her hometown in Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany. She spent the next four years in hiding, until she was finally rescued and taken to freedom thanks to Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, and for many years now she has shared her story with young people to warn them of the dangers of hate and mistrust. Join Host Bill Zagorski as Vera tells her story.

Penn Libraries

The voice of Marian Anderson resonates not just with beauty, but also with a proud and historic legacy. She made history as the first African American woman to sing a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955, and about 16 years earlier, a refusal by the Daughters of the American Revolution to allow her to perform before an integrated audience at Constitution Hall in Washington DC led to an outdoor concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, supported by then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. 

Heinz Weissenstein / Whitestone Photos

Tanglewood, home to one of the most iconic U.S. summer music festivals, is undergoing an expansion project that will add new performance, rehearsal and educational venues and enhance the landscaping on its bucolic campus. This Saturday, A Tempo (3/31) explores some of these plans, as well as this summer's tribute to Leonard Bernstein, with Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The program can be heard at 7 pm. 

Opera Philadelphia

With the successful launch of its new Fall festival format under with its belt, Opera Philadelphia this week announced its plans for its O18 Festival. The festival will run September 20-30, 2018, bringing two world premieres, two new productions and some other treats to opera audiences at a variety of venues.

Actor, author and theater director Simon Callow discovered a whole new side to composer Richard Wagner when he was asked to create a stage show to celebrate the bicentennial of Richard Wagner's birth in 2013, and now Callow has turned his discoveries into a book, Being Wagner, which was just released in the U.S.  This Saturday (3/17), A Tempo host Rachel Katz chats with Callow about his thoughts on this musical giant, including how his darker side, including his seemingly obsessive focus on anti-Semitism, has colored the way his music has been, and should be, received.

A Tempo this Saturday (3/10 at 7 pm) features an interview with Marshall Onofrio, Dean of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts, about Rider’s plans to sell Westminster Choir College to Beijing-based Kaiwen Education Technology Co. Host Rachel Katz will also speak with Constance Fee, a member of the Westminster Alumni Council, about hopes and concerns about the plans. 

As part of its Festival devoted to the cultural and social legacy of the 1960s, Carnegie Hall will celebrate the art of the protest song in an upcoming concert that will feature both protest songs of that era and contemporary songs that explore some of today's campaigns for social justice. 

In celebration of the centenary of Leonard Bernstein's birth, the Curtis Institute of Music, Opera Philadelphia and the National Museum of American Jewish History have teamed up to examine how Bernstein explored questions of identity through his late opera A Quiet Place.

A Beijing-based company that runs bi-lingual K-12 schools in China and has been expanding into sports and arts training is seeking to buy Westminster Choir College from Rider University for $40 million.

The announcement by Rider this week of the non-binding agreement with Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology Co. was the first time the university has revealed the name of the interested party or a price tag. No further time line was detailed, and additional details of the agreement were not made public.

As part of its commitment to supporting new American music, Opera Philadelphia next week will premiere Cycles of My Being, a song cycle that delves into the realities and facets of life as a black man in America. Composed by Tyshawn Sorey with lyrics by poet Terrance Hayes, the work will have its world premiere Feb. 20 in a performance by bel canto tenor Lawrence Brownlee, who has been tapped as an artistic advisor to Opera Philadelphia.

Jan Regan

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Carnegie Hall recently announced their 2018-2019 season plans, and this week on A Tempo (Sat. 2/10 at 7 pm) host Rachel Katz provides a look at what's in store. 

Fred Stucker

When the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra takes the stage for its 2018-2019 season, its musical selections and performers will reflect the themes of diversity, community and the ability to convey thoughts, ideas and stories through music. 

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