Dial-A-Musician
In 2005, I began an on-going collaboration with Classical Public Radio Network as the host of Dial-A-Musician, a feature I created for CPRN's morning drive-time programming. This segment was conceived both to further music education and to broaden the listeners' connection to classical music and musicians.

During each feature, I direct a listener question to an expert, drawing on personal and professional relationships — literally 'dialing' my guest up for his or her insights. Following the feature, the network graciously assists me in programming relevant music. My hope is that listeners' experience of the music is always enhanced by the preceding interview.

I've been lucky to have as my guests friends and colleagues such as pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, musicologist Elaine Sisman, composer John Adams, Emerson Quartet violinist Philip Setzer and cellist David Finckel, superstar soprano Natalie Dessay and, of course, my husband, St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson, and brother, violinist Gil Shaham, among over forty others. Dial-A-Musician runs on numerous local stations and podcasts of new Dial-A-Musician segments are available monthly via many of those stations' websites.

It seemed to me a good idea to add some personal comments on each guest's page. That is, until I realized how much time was involved! Pianists have a lot of notes to learn, so I've only managed a few comments so far. I promise to add more as I get them written.

GuestProgram TopicSubjectNotes
Bill CaballeroQuirks of the French Horn -- 
John AdamsComposing and Instrument Knowledge --Notes about guest
David RobertsonApplause Between Movements -- 
Gil ShahamBroken Strings in Performance -- 
Gene PokornyCounting Long Brass Rests -- 
Emanuel AxThe Process Behind Commissions -- 
Brinton SmithVery Expensive String Instruments -- 
Sheryl StaplesThe Role of The Concertmaster -- 
Phillip SetzerWho Leads a String Quartet -- 
Michael StraussAll About the Viola -- 
Alex KerrAmerican vs. European Orchestra Sound -- 
Elaine SismanWhat Does a Musicologist Do? --Notes about guest
Ingo HoffmanPiano Tuner Secrets -- 
Joaquin ValdepenasDifferent Clarinets? -- 
Orli ShahamHow Do You Memorize? -- 
Colin CurrieHow Does a Percussionist Learn So Many Instruments? -- 
Jeremy GeffenWho Programs Symphony Concerts? -- 
Dick WallerHow Do You Get Kids Interested in Classical Music? -- 
Erik HarrisDon't All Double Bases Look Alike? -- 
Yefim BronfmanWhy Do Different Players Not Sound Alike on the Same Piano? -- 
David HalenTell Us About the Culture of an Orchestra -- 
Jonathan HaasWhat is That Timpani Player Doing with His Hands on the Drum? -- 
Wu HanWhy Don't We Get All of Our Recordings from Major Labels? -- 
Richard WoodhamsWhy Does the Oboe Give the Tuning Note? -- 
Ron ConersFollowup on Pianos and Humidity -- 
Geraldine WaltherWhat is Life Like When You Play in an Orchestra or a String Quartet? -- 
David FinckelWhat is it Like to Travel as a Musician? -- 
Christine BrewerSingers and Stage Presence --Notes about guest
Jeffrey KahaneDoes a Conductor Usually Play an Instrument, Too? -- 
Nancy AllenWhy Does the Harp Have So Many Pedals? --Notes about guest
David RobertsonHow Are Orchestras Reinventing Themselves? -- 
Steven DibnerIs the bassoon Really the "Clown of the Orchestra"? -- 
Anton NelWhat Do the Pedals on the Piano Do? -- 
Natalie DessayHow Do Singers Recover From Voice Problems? -- 
John KennyHow Do Travel Restrictions Impact Musicians? -- 
Bruce AdolpheWhat Is a Key? Why Does a Composer Pick a Specific Key? --Notes about guest
Earl BlackburnHow Much Do Professional Musicians Earn? -- 
JoAnne FallettaWhere Do the Musicians in My Local Orchestra Come From? -- 
Jonathan FeldmanIs "Accompanist" An Insult? -- 
John KennyHow do trombone players know where to put their arms to get the right note?  
Eric KimWhat is the role of the principal player in a section of the orchestra?  
Barry JekowskyHow does someone become a conductor?  
Liang WangHow do wind players play for so long without taking a breath?  
David AmadoWhat's in that big book that the conductor has?  
Eric OwensHow do opera singers learn a new role?  
Paul KantorDo string sections bow together for looks or sound?  
Joan BalterWhat are the different parts of the violin?  
Paul JacobsDid someone really play all of Bach's organ music in an 18 hour concert?  
Alan ReinhardtHow do countertenors sing the way that they do?  
Bruce AdolpheHow do you hear the difference between major and minor?  
Lawrence KirkegaardWhy do I sound so good singing in the shower?  
Michael SachsHow do brass players make so many sounds with their lips?  
Judy LeClairWhy are bassoon players obsessed with reeds?  
David RutherfordPronunciation questions  
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