James Baker

Producer

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.  He has held the Principal Horn position in the Mid Texas Symphony for the past 20 years.

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

James was the long-time host of Itinerarios, a weekly program of music with Latin-American roots, Listener's Choice, KPAC's request show, and for over 10 years co-hosted with Ron Moore Alternate Routes, KPAC's program of contemporary music.

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Arts & Culture
5:40 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Oboist Ray Still: Still Keen on Music at 93

  Is there something in the water? Or is it the famous pizza which contributes to the longevity of service by so many of the principal musicians of the famous Chicago Symphony Orchestra? The record must surely belong to trumpeter Adolph Herseth, who held the first trumpet chair for 53 years, extending his tenure another 3 years as principal trumpet emeritus until his retirement in 2004. Then there was Arnold Jacobs, principal tuba with the CSO from 1944 until 1988.

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Arts & Culture
12:06 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Crossing America with Miguel del Aguila

Miguel del Aguila
Miguel del Aguila

  Miguel del Aguila's website describes him as "An internationally recognized compositional voice and talent, Miguel del Aguila creates fresh, spontaneous music often colored by Latin and World Music idioms, and with a healthy respect for the classical tradition and form. What results is a captivating interplay of classical balance and romantic excess.

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KPAC Blog: Texas Musicians
12:21 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Van Cliburn: A Heart As Big As Texas

Van Cliburn
dallasvoice.com

I first heard Van Cliburn live in 1969. He played a concert at Austin's Municipal Auditorium, a barn of a place, to a sold-out audience. I was, in the vernacular of the time, blown away.

As soon as the concert was over, I rushed down from my balcony seat to wait in the long line of well wishers for my opportunity to have my program autographed. By this time, Mr. Cliburn had actually come down into the audience. He was, in a sense, a man of the people.

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Arts & Culture
12:30 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Wolfgang Sawallisch (1923-2013): RIP

  The music world suffered a significant loss on Friday, February 22, with the passing of the German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch. He was 89. His resume is beyond reproach. He is likely best known in the US through his 10 years as the Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra (he succeeded Riccardo Muti and was subsequently succeeded by Christoph Eschenbach). His remarkable career covered more than half a century.

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KPAC Blog
10:08 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

How To Make A Trumpet Player

Chuck Berginc
Phoenix Symphony

Years ago, in the late 1970s, Chuck Berginc joined the San Antonio Symphony as the orchestra's second trumpet. Chuck's career later took him to several years as principal trumpet in the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico and more recently (if 30 years can be considered recent) principal with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra as well as principal trumpet for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

Ever wonder what it takes to become a successful professional trumpet player? Everyone has their own story, so here is Chuck's, in his own words (and notes).

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Arts & Culture
4:59 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

TMEA: Musical Innovation and Tradition

Jerry Junkin, Artistic Director Dallas Wind Symphony
artandseek.org

  “We try to give them examples of good practice, inspirational players, and good modeling.” Mark Burke, speaking of the intention behind Charanga Music World, a cloud-based learning tool for young musicians.

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KPAC Blog
7:11 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

Hekel Tavares, The Master Of Brazilian Folklore

Brazilian composer Hekel Tavares
www.drzem.com.br

We often speak of certain Brazilian composers suffering in the shadow of Heitor Villa-Lobos. After all, he was the one who possessed not only musical genius, but also the ability to attract attention.

He was, in many ways, bigger than life, which made it a struggle for other very able composers to be seen and heard. These others included Camargo Guarnieri, Franciso Mignone and Claudio Santoro. The music of these composers is still struggling to be heard outside of Brazil.

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Arts & Culture
2:54 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

It's Not All About the Notes: What the Arts Teach Our Children

The arts teach on many different levels
Credit Katherine Frey/The Washington Post

The arts promote skills essential to academic and life success.

Bravo to Lisa Phillips, author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner for this reminder that arts education in our  schools does much more than simply teach crafts, music and acting. There's also problem solving, creativity, confidence, and so much more that kids take away from these studies. 

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KPAC Blog: Itinerarios
2:19 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Latin American String Quartet Celebrates 30 Years

Cuarteto Latinoamericano
Cuarteto Latinoamericano

In many ways, KPAC and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano have lived parallel lives over the past 30 years. San Antonio's cultural profile would be quite different today if not for KPAC's dedication to providing great music around the clock for the greater San Antonio area. For these same three decades, the Latin American String Quartet has emerged as the essential champion of Latin American music for string quartet. Long may both these cultural institutions survive.

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KPAC Blog: Itinerarios
5:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Eduardo Mata: A Documentary Film

Wikipedia

 Last year (2012) was a Mexico-wide -- and even international -- year of reflection upon the life and career of the Mexican composer and conductor Eduardo Mata. He would have been 70 years old, if not for his tragic death, much too young, in 1995.

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