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Sharing releases, present and past, to brighten your day. WXXI Classical has its eyes and ears on the latest releases from classical artists working today. When we come across a story or a release we think you might enjoy, we’ll be sharing it with you on CD Spotlight. You’ll learn more about the artists online at WXXI Classical, and you’ll hear selections from these artists on FM 91.5. CD Spotlight shares new releases by artists that you’ll want to know and some by great artists and ensembles that deserve to be in the spotlight again.

CD Spotlight: Vienna Stories by Anneleen Lenaerts

What a wonderful journey it’s been for Belgian harpist Anneleen Lenaerts. At the age of 24, she won the job of Principal Harpist for the Vienna Philharmonic. Since then, she’s also joined the faculty at the Maastricht Conservatory. Vienna Stories, Lenaerts’ newest release, is her celebration of the City of Dreams, the orchestra, and the many maestros she has had the pleasure to work with. The CD is filled with favorites by Dvorak, Smetana, Wagner, and others including, of course, Johann Strauss, Jr. One great operatic composer didn’t make the roster: Puccini. So Lenaerts made up for it by composing a fantasy on La Bohème.

“One couldn’t wish,” says Lenaerts, “for a better education than working with this orchestra, being fully absorbed in its musical knowledge and able to blend into its unique sound.” For our first CD Spotlight of 2022, we happily hear Anneleen Lenaerts step out from the orchestra and tell her own story.

Anneleen Lenaerts plays "Song to the Moon" from Dvořák: Rusalka, Op.114, Act 1

A Strong Memorial baby and Greece Arcadia grad, Julia Figueras was the Music Director and mid-day host for WXXI Classical until June 30, 2023 when she retired after more than 26 years of service. She also hosted the award-winning monthly interview/performance show, Backstage Pass.