Ross Amico

Program Host

Ross Amico is program host, and host of Picture Perfect which airs Fridays at 6 pm and The Lost Chord which airs Sundays at 10 pm.

Ross has been involved in radio broadcasting since 1986.  He spent nearly ten years in community radio, after phoning in to a request show and being told he knew more about classical music than the program director.  During that time, his shows originated from WMUH Allentown (the radio station of Muhlenberg College) and nearby WXLV Schnecksville (at Lehigh-Carbon Community College).  He made his WWFM debut in September of 1995, while in the process of opening an antiquarian book business, Famulus Books, in Philadelphia.  His broadcasts have also been heard on WRTI Philadelphia and WPRB Princeton.

What he finds most enjoyable about his work in radio is putting together interesting programs and sharing music perhaps unfamiliar to his audiences.  It is his philosophy that a skillful juxtaposition of the familiar and the new can set off both to advantage.  His pre-produced shows, Picture Perfect and The Lost Chord, allow him to explore the world of film music and seldom-heard composers and recordings.  His music articles, which appear every Friday in the Times of Trenton, celebrate the local and regional arts scene.

Interview subjects have included Leon Bates, Stephanie Blythe, Cameron Carpenter, Barry Douglas, JoAnn Falletta, Leon Fleisher, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Christopher Lyndon-Gee, Kirill Gerstein, Philippe Graffin, Marc-André Hamelin, Sharon Isbin, Leila Josefowicz, Awadagin Pratt, Lara St. John, Peter Schickele, Orli Shaham, Caroline Shaw, Chris Thile, Dawn Upshaw, Pinchas Zukerman, and Christopher Walken.

Always passionate about classical music, Ross began record collecting at the age of 10.  He has also had a lifelong interest in classic film.  He credits his fascination with film with having led him to the symphony orchestra.  Follow his activities and enthusiasms on his Facebook page, Classic Ross Amico.

Ways to Connect

As related in the Gospel of Luke, a young wastrel burns through his family fortune, then returns home to the arms of his forgiving father.  It’s an off-center Father’s Day tribute, as we listen to ballet music inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son, including works by Hugo Alfvén and Sergei Prokofiev.  Father knows best, this Sunday at 10 pm.

With Father’s Day right around the corner, what better time to revisit the spaghetti western?  After all, whose Dad doesn’t like spaghetti?  We’ll sample from music for the “Dollars” Trilogy” (“A Fistful of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars More,” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”), composed by Ennio Morricone, and the “Sabata” Trilogy (“Sabata” and “Return of Sabata”), composed by Marcello Giombini.  Tell Dad it’s all-you-can-eat.  We’ll be piling the plates high, this Friday at 6 pm. 

Mily Balakirev, the founder of “The Mighty Handful” – that group of Russian nationalist composers in which he was joined by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, Alexander Borodin, and Cesar Cui – had very strong ideas about what Russian music should be.  He was not at all bashful about telling other composers what to do.  However, his late disciple, Sergei Lyapunov, was as much influenced by the keyboard prowess of Franz Liszt as he was the patriotic zeal of his mentor.  Develop a liking for Lyapunov, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

With the exception, perhaps, of his own transcriptions of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Leopold Stokowski recorded more Wagner with the Philadelphia Orchestra than any other single composer.   Revisit some of Stoky’s early recordings, originally issued on 78s, including the controversial “Liebesnacht,” the original version of his symphonic synthesis after “Tristan und Isolde,” and a superb recording of “Wotan’s Farewell and Magic Fire Music” from “Die Walküre.”  The magic begins Sunday at 10 pm. 

A performance of his Symphony No. 3 sold over a million copies, making it one of the best-selling classical records of all time.  Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 4, completed in short score 30 years later, was to be the composer’s last major work.  Subtitled “Tansman Episodes,” the piece was written in tribute to his compatriot, Alexandre Tansman.  Tansman’s “Partita for Cello and Piano,” dedicated to the famed Spanish cellist Gaspar Cassadó, will also be featured.  Górecki does not repeat, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, revisit familiar tales learned in childhood with music from “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” (Leigh Harline), “The Company of Wolves” (George Fenton), “Puss in Boots” (Henry Jackman), and “La Belle et La Bête” (Georges Auric).  It’s an hour of once-upon-a-time and happily-ever-after, this Friday at 6 pm. 

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.

Sergei Bortkiewicz, born in Ukraine, lived through two world wars and the Russian Revolution, enduring both poverty and personal tragedy.  Through it all, he managed to create music of lasting beauty.  Learn more about his turbulent life and transporting music, including the Quatre morceaux, Op. 65, the Symphony No. 2 in E flat major, and the Elegie, Op. 46, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

Jerome Moross first encountered the American West on a cross-country trip in 1936.  The indelible impressions left would inform his future film and concert works.  The energetic syncopations of his native New York City bolstered an easy lyrical gift that could easily pass for genuine American folk music.  Saddle up for selections from “The Big Country,” “The Proud Rebel,” “The Valley of Gwangi,” and “The Jayhawkers.”  We breathe the open air with music of great vitality, Friday at 6 pm. 

For Easter Sunday, it’s an hour of music inspired or influenced by cathedrals, including Jennifer Higdon’s “blue cathedral,” Agustin Barrios’ “La Catedral,” Joby Talbot’s “León” from “Path of Miracles,” and Adolphus Hailstork’s “Sonata da Chiesa.”  Reach for the heavens with these architects of cathedrals in sound, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

Join Ross Amico for an hour of Ukrainian classics, including “The Zaporozhy Cossacks” by Reinhold Glière and the Symphony No. 1 by Boris Lyatoshinsky (a Glière pupil), this Sunday at 10 pm.

 

The obsolescence of the gunfighter.  The free-ranging cowboy fenced off by barbed wire.  Horses replaced by automobiles.  The land of limitless possibility and moral certitude, subdivided and spoiled by industrialization.  Once-heroic figures ride slowly into the sunset, or are killed, their qualities unrecognized, perhaps even willfully rejected, by those who come after.  Autumn comes to the Old West, this Friday at 6 pm.

 

Join Ross Amico for music from “Hangover Square” (Bernard Herrmann), “The Beast with Five Fingers” (Max Steiner), “The Mephisto Waltz” (Jerry Goldsmith), and “The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T” (Frederick Hollander).  Practice makes psychotic, this Friday at 6 pm.

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