The Springfield Symphony Orchestra Salutes John Montanari

On Sunday, October 6, New England Public Radio and The Springfield Symphony Orchestra will celebrate NEPR’s long-time Music Director and classical music host, John Montanari, who will retire in December. The program, which features Maestro Kevin Rhodes and the orchestra’s principal musicians, begins at 3 p.m. at Buckley Recital Hall on the Amherst College campus. 

A lively afternoon of music is planned, featuring composers ranging from Beethoven and Brahms to Poulenc and Piazzolla. And in a playful role reversal, Mr. Rhodes will interview Mr. Montanari about his career, the music he loves, and his future plans as he retires from NEPR at the end of 2013.

“It is an enormous pleasure for me and some of the leading musicians of the SSO to salute John and his work in this concert featuring great music for solo instruments and piano,” said Rhodes. “John has been one of the region’s leading proponents of classical music for decades and the SSO in particular and his tireless efforts to promote this art form are a worthy legacy. I’m especially looking forward to switching our roles and this time interviewing John about his life and career instead of the other way around!”

For 35 years, from the heyday of Bernstein to the dawn of Dudamel, from LPs and reel-to-reel tapes to compact discs and digital downloads, John Montanari has delighted in sharing the riches of classical music with New England Public Radio’s listeners. John grew up as an avid music lover in Connecticut, and gravitated toward radio during his years studying music at UConn. He also serves as artistic director for the Music In Deerfield chamber music series, and sings with Pioneer Valley Cappella. You also might catch him giving lectures and pre-concert talks at various New England venues. Following his retirement in 2013, John plans to keep listening, blogging, presenting and generally celebrating the incredibly rich New England music scene, of which Kevin Rhodes and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra are such an important part. 

The event is open to the public. Tickets ($20) can be purchased at 

Doors open at 2:30 p.m., seating is open.   

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-13 Season can be heard Sundays at 1 p.m. on 88.5FM WFCR and in the Berkshires at 101.1FM (North Adams), 98.7FM (Great Barrington), 98.3FM (Lee), 106.1FM (Pittsfield/Lenox), and 96.3FM (Williamstown) through October 6. 

Maestro Kevin Rhodes and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the start of their 70th concert season on Saturday October 5th. This Opening Night performance will feature Shostakovich, Ravel and Tchaikovsky, with special guest pianist Gilles Vonsattel. All Springfield Symphony performances are 7:30 pm in Springfield Symphony Hall.  More information at     

For more information on New England Public Radio’s classical music offerings, including links to our Classical Blog, visit