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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.

  • What better way to celebrate the beginning of Spring than with gorgeous music by Beethoven and Copland? (No Vivaldi to be found here!) Enjoy this inspired and delightful music.
  • Shakespeare’s character of Falstaff appeared in “Henry IV” parts one and two, but came into his own in “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Ralph Vaughan Williams made Falstaff the center of his second opera “Sir John in Love” — originally titled “The Fat Knight.” We’ll hear a remarkable orchestral suite of music from the opera in its debut recording.
  • Robert Schumann aspired to be a great pianist but following a hand injury, turned to composing. He had a complicated, tragic life but produced some of the most beautiful melodies ever put to paper. Hear Schumann’s music conducted by one of his most sympathetic interpreters: Daniel Barenboim.
  • Few composers have brought more joy and sheer fun to audiences than Gioachino Rossini. Hear his music as reimagined by Ottorino Respighi and Benjamin Britten into suites that are sure to charm and delight you.
  • George Gershwin was a genius and innovator. He died tragically young, but left incredible music for the stage and the concert hall. We’ll hear his “most classical” piano work with orchestra and a musical postcard from the city of lights.
  • In this new periodic series, explore different perspectives on a great musical work. This time it’s Bach’s miraculous Passacaglia and Fugue in C BWV 582. We have four different versions, each revealing new insights into the music.
  • We continue the series of outstanding recordings from the large catalog produced for 'Reader’s Digest' in the 1960s. Not only were these excellent performances, but the sonics were among the best out there. Hear fine recordings of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Manuel de Falla.
  • The passing of Queen Elizabeth II last year prompts reflection on the first Queen Elizabeth, who reigned from 1558-1603. We’ll hear music from her time and also modern orchestral settings inspired by her fascinating and turbulent life.
  • Franz Schubert either intended his eighth symphony to have only two movements, or he never finished it, as is often thought. We’ll hear the efforts of scholars to complete the other two movements of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 and also what might have been the first movement of Beethoven’s tenth symphony. Good or bad idea? We’ll find out together.
  • We continue our remembrance of the great pianist Radu Lupu, who passed away in April 2022. He was “a pianist’s pianist” who earned the highest praise from his professional colleagues. We’ll hear his incredible musicality in two contrasting works by Johannes Brahms.