John Nowacki

Classical Music Host

Originally from the Midwest, John’s interest in classical music began while he was a high school student, having discovered organ music recordings by E. Power Biggs and singing in the high school’s choirs. His radio career began in 1982 at WILL-FM in Champaign-Urbana, Ilinois, where he started as a board operator for local programming, then became a classical music host. He worked for several Illinois stations before making the move to WNPR in 1990.

John lives in Hartford, Connecticut with his husband and Myles the cat. He sings as a bass/baritone in the choir of St. John's Episcopal Church, West Hartford. He also enjoys reading good Science Fiction, and biographies of 16th and 17th-century historical figures.

Ways to Connect

Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Fall finds organist Christopher Houlihan taking up new duties as the John Rose College Organist and Directorship Distinguished Chair of Chapel Music at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.  

Duo Orfeo guitarist Joseph Ricker (left) & NEPR's John Nowacki (right)
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Guitarists Joseph Ricker and Jamie Balmer comprise the Duo Orfeo. They've been described as "brilliant" and "wild-thinking artists," and are known for bringing to life an eclectic and relevatory classical guitar repertory. 

John Perkell and John Nowacki
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

What do you do after a 35-year career as an orchestral librarian for symphony orchestras? For John Perkel, the answer was simple, if not a little daunting. You start a chamber music series in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. John Nowacki talks with Perkel about how it all came about…

John Nowacki and Paul Mealor
NEPR

Welsh composer Paul Mealor is one of the most popular choral composers today. His sacred motets, songs and cycles have been performed, broadcast and recorded by artists in the UK, USA and much further afield.

Dr. Mealor stopped by the NEPR studios recently to talk about his music with John Nowacki.

John Nowacki and Mark Singleton
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

The choral ensemble VOCE, founded in 2006 and based in Hartford, CT, champions new music, especially of composers in the early stages of their careers. Their conductor and founder Mark Singleton is a renowned conductor, composer and guest speaker, and he has worked with choirs and orchestras of all ages and styles. His energetic and magnetic leadership has made him one of the most sought‐after conductors in New England.  

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything…no particular reason. So, I recently came across this interesting little story. Ever wonder what it’s like to be an orchestral musician in a world-class ensemble? Violinist Nathan Cole, First Associate Concertmaster with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, writes about his experiences with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra back in 2002. It might be a a tad lengthy, but it’s well worth the read!

Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra
Ryan Donnell

I dare say that, with the state of classical music in this country, ie: seemingly on a steady decline, no matter how much we’d like to believe otherwise, it doesn’t help matters when it comes to disagreements between musicians and symphony orchestra management when it comes to pay.