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Celebrating 50 years on FM 91.5
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In 2024 WXXI-FM 91.5 celebrates its 50th anniversary, 12/23/1974. Each month we will share reflections and memories of events, celebrations, honors and personalities that have made WXXI Public Media what it is today.

Memories from March 1979 and 2014

FM 91.5 celebrated some great performances in March of 1979 and 2014

1983 black and white headshot of conductor David Zinman
Eugene Istomin
David Zinman in 1983

On Thursday, March 29, 1979 your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of then Maestro David Zinman (1974-1985) performed "an interesting, well‐chosen program designed to showcase its newly acquired qualities" (NYTimes) at Carnegie Hall.


The orchestra performed "two virtuoso orchestral scores; Berlioz's “Benvenuto Cellini” Overture and Bartok's “Miraculous Mandarin” Suite" and was also joined by noted pianist Misha Dichter. WXXI-FM 91.5 broadcast this concert live to air. Read the transcript of the New York Times 3/31/74 review, written by Peter G. Davis.

In March of 1978 Alan Bunin joined the staff as the local overnight host; and in 1997 Gil French joined the staff as our midday host, and the producer of the annual RPO broadcasts.

In 2014, WXXI FM 91.5 welcomed another renowned musician to Rochester, when flutist Sir James Galway performed with local and national musicians at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater for a live broadcast of the nationally syndicated program From the Top, that features talented young musicians.

Flutist Sir James Galway poses with nine student instrumentalists with From the Top medals on blue & yellow ribbons around their necks
WXXI Public Media
Sir James Galway poses with the students who performed with him on From the Top at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater, 3/19/2014

Watch this behind-the-scenes moment between Sir James and 10-year-old violinist Pierce Wang.