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.  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.

Ways To Connect

Dirección General de Música, UNAM / Wikimedia Commons

If there's one thing to be learned about classical music from Latin America, it's that there's much more there than one might imagine, especially if we only know of that proverbial tip of the iceberg, the scant amount of Latin American music which has trickled into American, European and Asian concert halls. When I first began producing my weekly radio program, “Itinerarios,” I began casting the net further and further into Latin America, hoping to keep new materials flowing in as fuel for the show.

Milton Montenegro

[This post has been edited from when it first went online to reflect some of the winners in this year's categories.]

Rick Hunter Photography

It was with the heaviest heart that I read the news, spreading like a wild fire, of the death of the extraordinary photographer Rick Hunter. He was one of my favorite people on Facebook and a constant inspiration as I tried, and tried again, to train my camera to see as he saw. My eye will never be as keen as his, yet I will continue to strive to capture the world around me as he always did, so skillfully.

Why Verdi?

Oct 11, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

My first exposure to the music of Guiseppe Verdi came in high school. Fred Junkin, the director of the Victoria High School Band, chose Verdi's "Overture to La Forza del Destino" for one of our contest pieces. The drama of the piece stuck with me, such that as a professional musician and devoted listener to classical music, my heart still responds to Verdi's restless score.

Dan Massie

Promotion can be deceptive; we've all been duped into expecting the latest and greatest this or that, only to be profoundly disappointed, maybe even out some bucks for the CD or online download. That said, and yes it can be regarded a disclaimer, I want to share what looks like the real deal, waiting in the wings, with only the details of the release date still to be determined. Line up behind me for this anticipated new release.