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

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. 

During this year’s Grammy Awards, the televised program Sunday will include a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, just one of the many ways the music world this year is marking what would have been the 100th anniversary of his birth in August 1918. 

Raul Zbengheci

Innovation is alive and well in the opera world, particularly at smaller and more creative opera companies and festivals. This week, A Tempo spotlights the sixth annual Prototype Festival in New York City, which runs Jan. 7 - 20. This year's Festival presented seven productions, including several world and U.S. premieres.

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

There was a particular sense of relevance when Brian Owens, a recording artist and Artist in Residence with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's IN UNISON program was putting together plans for the concert this Friday entitled "Keep Pushing! The Music of Curtis Mayfield."

"I think, especially in the times we live in now, the music that was written back then is so well-suited to speak to, address issues, bring hope, all of those kinds of things that I think we need right now," said Owens, reflecting on Mayfield's emphasis on civil rights in his music.

The Vienna Philharmonic is wrapping up its 175th Anniversary Year. To mark this milestone, the Philharmonic has put out a new book (A Sound Tradition) surveying its history - from its artistic and cultural highpoints to its darker historic moments during World War II. This week on A Tempo (Saturday 12/30 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz speaks with Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz, author of the book and Chief Dramaturg of the Vienna State Opera, about the book and the Philharmonic's history. Joining in the conversation will be John Hargraves, who translated the book's English edition. 

Joanna Bergin

Robert Schumann wrote his Advice to Young Musicians in 1848 to share his thoughts and inspire the next generation of musicians. Now, cellist Steven Isserlis has revisited this collection of aphorisms and practical advice, presenting them in an updated form and adding his own thoughts in an effort to reach today's aspiring musicians. This Saturday on A Tempo (12/23 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz interviews Isserlis about this endeavor, and some of his other children's books on musical themes. 

Four years into his studies at Westminster Choir College, senior John Franek was still finding himself caught up in the emotions and spirit of the school’s annual Readings and Carols as he prepared to chime the “basso profundo” D2 bell that rings in Joy to the World, the final carol on the program.

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