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

The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, at San Antonio's McNay Art Museum, is regarded by many to be the most important collection of its kind in the country. In addition to the thousands of volumes of rare and essential books, there are thousands more pieces of visual art in the form of costume, scene, and stage designs, most of them with a musical pedigree. How did such a collection come about? Tobin Collection curators Linda Hardberger and Jody Blake give us some clues.

Watch the video slide show here:

Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Robert L. B. Tobin, TL1984.1.659.

Robert Tobin, the namesake of The Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts, was a collector from an early age. He had acquired a love of the theatre, and in particular the musical theatre, from his mother, Margaret Batts Tobin, well-known and respected in arts circles for her service to the McNay Art Museum. She also sat on the advisory board of the Metropolitan Opera. Beverly Sills said of Robert Tobin: ''He and his mother were two of the most generous patrons of the arts I have ever known."

Wiki Media

If you are a fan of ballet, or perhaps a more free-form style of dance, this is a great time to be in San Antonio. Plus, if you are willing to take a road trip to Houston, you will find even more which will appeal.

Karen Almond

For years now, I keep coming back to a jazz composition by composer/jazz educator and good friend Dick Goodwin. He wrote the piece back when I first got to know him, in the late '60s, calling it “What I Think About When I Hear 'Bye, Bye, Blackbird.'” It's funny how utilitarian the concept is: “What I Think About When I Hear Beethoven 5th,” or “Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Scheherazade.'” Or what about the visual?

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