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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.

The Black Composers Series: 1974-1978

In the 1970s, CBS Masterworks released a series of groundbreaking albums featuring the music of Black composers. Curated by and featuring the pioneering conductor Paul Freeman, these eight albums covered over two centuries of music, from the swashbuckling symphonist Joseph Boulogne, the Chevalier de Saint Georges to Panamanian Roque Cordero and Rochester’s George Walker and Eastman School of Music graduate Ulysses Kay. Forty years later, Sony dusted off the analog tapes, remastered them, and released them in this well-priced, eight CD set.

This is a wonderful, and much needed collection for classical music, reminding us that Black musicians have been creating superb works for centuries, and giving us a chance to revel in the works of William Grant Still, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Fela Sowande, and many more, including an entire CD dedicated to symphonic spirituals. As we embrace equity, this set stands as a must-own for classical collections.

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.