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Classical WETA 90.9 FM Launches “Classical Breakdown” Podcast Featuring Thoughtful and Lively Musical Discussions

Podcast Episodes to Launch September 10, 2019

[September 4, 2019; Arlington, VA] – Classical WETA 90.9 FM, the exclusive home of classical music in Greater Washington, announces the launch of their new podcast intended for all fans of the classical music genre. The “Classical Breakdown” podcast will take audiences behind the music, making the classical music world understandable and accessible, leading to a deeper appreciation of all things classical. From in-depth conversations with local musicians and touring artists to observations and analysis of well-known compositions, “Classical Breakdown” aims to share the fascinating and entertaining aspects behind the artistry. A teaser for the podcast highlighting upcoming episodes and topics is now available at and on the Classical WETA App, as well as via Apple Podcasts and other select services.


“Classical Breakdown” is hosted by Classical WETA production manager and on-air host John Banther, who has performed as a professional musician with leading ensembles and orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Netherlands and The Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass. Classical WETA program director Jim Allison remarks, “John’s experience as a performer, educator and broadcaster makes him very well-suited to serve as the host of ‘Classical Breakdown’ and allows him to share his insights and first-hand knowledge while leading lively conversations on a range of classical music topics.”


“Classical WETA has loyal listeners on-the-air in Greater Washington and beyond via our free digital streaming service. ‘Classical Breakdown’ is another way for our audience to experience our content, and deepen their understanding of this rich musical tradition,” adds Dan DeVany, WETA Vice President for Radio, “We hope that anyone who has an interest in classical music will come to hear conversations with Classical WETA staff, performers, and industry insiders that celebrate both the creation and presentation of this musical artform.”

On September 10, the first three episodes will be released:

  • “Alistair Coleman on Writing Music,” featuring a conversation with the renowned young composer from Washington, D.C. on the different ways Beethoven and Mozart composed music, while describing his own music writing process.
  • “Wu Han, Pianist and Cultural Entrepreneur,” featuring a conversation with one of the busiest chamber musicians in the United States on her early musical inspirations in Taiwan, how tragedy led her to another career path, where chamber music is headed, and even how to fix wardrobe malfunctions with a stapler.
  • “The Four Seasons: How Vivaldi Depicts the World in Sound,” exploring the many details to hear and discover in Antonio Vivaldi’s masterpiece, with a recording that brings a fresh perspective to this work published nearly 300 years ago.

Following the September 10th launch, new “Classical Breakdown” podcasts will be made available on a bi-weekly basis beginning Tuesday, September 24th with an episode that travels through classical music history to answer the question “What is a Symphony?” Additional podcast conversations will include first-person stories from musicians such as award-winning cellist Kian Soltani, as well as composers and professionals that share the experiences of how classical music is created, performed, and recorded for the enjoyment of all.


To learn more about “Classical Breakdown,” please visit for more information. Press materials can be found at


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About Classical WETA 90.9 FM

Classical WETA 90.9 FM is one of the most listened to classical music radio station in the United States (Source: Nielsen), With marquee programs such as “Front Row Washington” and “NSO Showcase,” on-line features like “Classical Conversations,” and our all-vocal digital channel, “VivaLaVoce,” Classical WETA provides a 24/7 music service with broad appeal. The station reaches audiences over the air throughout Greater Washington and surrounding counties in Maryland and Northern Virginia, online at, and via tablet and mobile app devices through the Classical WETA App (available on iTunes and Google Play). On social media, follow @classicalweta on Twitter.


About WETA

WETA Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM are public broadcasting stations serving the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia with high-quality programming. Classical WETA 90.9 FM brings classical music, concerts and specials to Greater Washington. As the leading PBS station in the nation’s capital, WETA Television broadcasts on four channels: WETA TV 26, WETA HD, WETA UK and WETA Kids. WETA Television celebrates the people and history of this region through programs such as WETA Around Town, WETA Extras and WETA Arts.  For national PBS audiences, WETA Washington, D.C., is one of the largest-producing stations of new content for public television in the United States, with news and public affairs programs including PBS NewsHour and Washington Week; films by Ken Burns such as The Civil War and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; and performance specials from the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. WETA creates leading public service websites such as,,, and; and develops community outreach programs to engage people of all ages in the joy of lifelong learning. The WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO.  More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at On social media, visit on Facebook or follow @WETAtvfm on Twitter.


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Olivia Wong

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