James Baker

Producer, Host: Classics a la Carte

James first introduced himself to KPAC listeners at midnight on April 8, 1993, presenting Dvorak's 7th Symphony played by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soon after, he became the regular overnight announcer on KPAC.

If pressed to describe himself, James will say he is a musician who hosted classical music.  For over 40 years, he has worked as a professional French horn player, holding posts in the Austin Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, and Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, the oldest orchestra in Mexico. 

James also is an avid marathoner.  Look for him running the streets of San Antonio with his three rescued border collies.

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James Baker

It was 10 years ago that I met the remarkable Mexican soprano Olivia Gorra, at the 2003 Festival Internacional de Cervantino. She had just made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Turandot, with more performances to come.

The pride of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Olivia performed an outdoor program at Guanajuato's Alhondiga which was capped off by a rousing set with her fellow Veracruzanos, the folkloric ensemble Tlen Huicani. Despite her numerous opera house successes, I doubt she has ever had them dancing in the aisles at the Met.

revolutionfortomorrow.blogspot.com

It was on a Summer morning in Mexico City that I heard the sad news of the passing of Herbert von Karajan. The notice was on the radio as I drove over to the Sala Nezahualcoytl, on the campus of Mexico's National University. I was on my way to play a matinee concert with the Orquesta de la Mineria.

Once I arrived, I immediately went to the dressing room of the conductor, Luis Herrera de la Fuente, to relate the bad news. He was alarmed. "Are you sure?" he asked. "I'm afraid so, Maestro," I replied.

World record playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the Giant Tuba by Joerg Wachsmuth with Dresden Phil on Dec 31,2012. Don't want to be stung by this thing!

James Baker

I suppose it is because I have largely made my living these past 20 years with my voice -- though certainly not as a singer -- that I have come to value the sound of a voice and what it reveals; both when the voice is alive, and perhaps more importantly, when that speaker is no longer with us.

Desiree Furoni

A special piece written by Marin Alsop on NPR included a photo of her conducting the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in a concert on a Brazilian beach. Twenty thousand listeners attended! Wow! An outdoor concert in December?

A look at the latest weather forecasts for points in South America quickly reminds us that it is presently Summertime (and one would hope the livin’ is easy) throughout the Southern Hemisphere.

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