NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Frank v2.jpg

Frank Byrne

Host, From the Archives

Frank Byrne has spent his life in music administration, first as the senior administrator of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band in Washington, DC, and later as Executive Director of the Kansas City Symphony. In addition to his administrative work, Byrne was also a professional tuba player and student of legendary Chicago Symphony tubist Arnold Jacobs. He has lived the music business on stage and in the office, and has retained his passion for great music and the people who make it.

His passion is fueled by intense curiosity and a desire to understand what makes some performances extraordinary. As a picture is worth a thousand words, some special recordings convey qualities that go beyond words, with their own power and compelling message. Finding and sharing those special performances remains a lifelong hobby and obsession. He also believes that Classical KC provides a wonderful opportunity to share great music with an entirely new audience and hopes to help make that a reality.

  • Some of the greatest and most beloved music for concert band was written by British composers, and this week we showcase another batch. We have virtuoso performances of original music for concert band by Vaughan Williams, Holst, Walton and also by Haydn Wood and Gordon Jacob, all performed by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. In addition to the Marine Band’s conductors, we have guest conductors Dr. Frederick Fennell and two music directors of Her Majesty’s Royal Marine Bands.
  • No composer wrote more effectively or beautifully for strings than Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. We’ll hear his beloved Serenade for Strings, Op. 48 in a terrific recording that will be new to most of you and truly captures the spirit of the music. We also feature two other excellent Tchaikovsky string works, one of which is guaranteed to surprise you — in a good way.
  • We’re just days after Christmas and, in the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, we have a sleigh full of great music from Tchaikovsky to Tiomkin to delight and entertain you. We’ll hear a fabulous recording of music from The Nutcracker, as well as music by Bach, Humperdinck, Rimsky-Korsakov and selections from the immortal film score to “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
  • Happy 2021! For many decades music lovers have enjoyed the New Year’s concerts from Vienna with the Vienna Philharmonic. In this show we have our own Viennese New Year’s extravaganza with sparkling music by the Strauss family Johann (Sr. and II), Eduard, and Josef, and some of the best conductors of this music – Clemens Krauss, Carlos Kleiber, Herbert von Karajan and Willi Boskovsky. It’s a fabulous and fun hour of music.
  • Beethoven’s 250th birthday occurs days before this show airs, so we devote the entire program to his music. We open with his stirring and noble “Consecration of the House” overture and the main course of our Beethoven buffet is his magnificent Septet in E-flat, Op. 20 in a classic recording by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Both recordings show Beethoven at his best, as well as at his most bombastic and most intimate.
  • Surprise symphonies are high quality works that may have escaped your attention, so we showcase them on “From the Archives.” This show features two youthful symphonies by Norwegian composer Johan Svendsen and German operatic dynamo Carl Maria von Weber. It only makes us wish that they had each composed more symphonies.
  • This show features the incredible Ukrainian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, who was revered by audiences and by fellow famous pianists. He was in a class by himself. We’ll hear him in the Dvořák Piano Concerto conducted by another legend, Carlos Kleiber, and in music by Chopin.
  • Our “appraisers” have done their work and we feature excellent music with the word “antique” in the title. Your ears are in for a treat with music by Ravel, Debussy, Glazunov, and Rutter. All sales final!
  • Many composers found inspiration in the history and culture of Scotland and this week we will hear music by Hector Berlioz, Malcolm Arnold and Max Bruch. A Scottish folk hero, the great Robert Burns, and traditional folk music helped bring these great works to life.
  • Today's episode features Adolph Sylvester Herseth, Jr., a unique talent who for 53 seasons held the principal trumpet chair in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with brilliance. Herseth persevered a great many challenges and was even able to impress the stern CSO conductor Fritz Reiner.