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.

Ways To Connect

Wikimedia Commons

The year was 1982, I believe, when I first encountered the Brazilian conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky. He had come to guest conduct the Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City Philharmonic), of which I was a member. I have fond memories of the experience, especially the opening number of the concert, the “Overture to Der Freischutz” by Carl Maria von Weber. The orchestra loved playing for him and gave him terrific performances. I recall going out afterward with a group of musicians and Maestro Karabtchevsky, for drinks.

INBA

Speak of the Mexican pianist Maria Teresa Rodriguez and the topic quickly turns to her recordings of the solo piano music of Carlos Chavez. However, many will advise a more thorough exploration of her work, for she was said to have had a repertoire which included more than 400 pieces, including Maurice Ravel's "Le Tombeau de Couperin."

Wikimedia Commons

It's a sign of the inevitable passage of time that we find ourselves weekly, even daily, bidding farewell to our few remaining links to that great gesture of American music which we know fondly as "The Great American Songbook." One such link, one of the last, passed away on Tuesday night, August 20th. Sadly, we must say our farewells to Marian McPartland.

David Amram

I always look forward to emails arriving from my old friend, fellow horn player David Amram. I recently sent him a video interview I did with him a few years ago. That prompted his always gracious thank you and then this account of the San Remo Cafe and Bar in Greewich Village:

 July 29, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation had an honoring ceremony celebrating the San Remo Cafe and Bar.

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