Music that changes the day — for enough listeners

As we debate how best to program classical music on public radio, we seem often to take for granted that we face an “either/or” conundrum. We seem to assume that our music can only serve either mission or market, can only please either music lovers or music likers, can only achieve the music’s full artistic potential or build audience. I believe that a “both/and” solution to the puzzle exists at a sweet spot in the middle of these divergent pairs of broadcasting goals, a solution which surpasses mere minimal compromise. Please note that my belief is not based on any kind of argument for or against the inviolable sovereignty of classical music. This will be a radio-based manifesto, not a music-based one.

A radio woman’s tale: reclaiming her voice

All of these years, Diane Rehm’s voice: the vehicle for ordinary sentences she enunciates so emphatically that they carry their utmost weight. But creaky on the edges, hitting snags. It’s a voice reliably there at midmorning on her NPR talk show, familiar; listeners love it. Except for the inevitable detractors, who say they find Rehm grating, or schoolmarmish. Love or hate that voice, it’s illuminating to learn that a physical problem contributes to Rehm’s on-air distinctiveness.