Audio On Demand

Classical Crossroads

PSO TourWhere classical music crosses paths with rock and roll, world music, folk music and jazz. As Duke Ellington said "There are only two types of music: good music and the other stuff." Listen to interviews with people who make good music here.

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 |


Martin Barre - 04/25/2016
Jethro Tull Guitarist Martin Barre talks about his hits Auqualung, Cross Eyed Mary Locomotive Breath, why the group called it quits, great moments on the road  and much more plus his new album Back to Steel.

Stewart Copeland - 03/07/2016
Former Police drummer Stewart Copeland was in Pittsburgh to perform his "They Tyrant's Crush" with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.   He talked to Jim Cunningham about his classical music background, his piece, and his work with "The Police."


Kerry Minnear - Gentle Giant - 12/15/2015
Jim Shock talks to Kerry Minnear, member of Gentle Giant, about their illustrious history.  

Eileen Ivers - 07/31/2015
WQED-FM's Ben Burgess talks to fiddler Eileen Ivers about her musical background.  She performs at Hartwood Acres on August 9th, 2015. 

Melora Creager - Rasputina - 07/16/2015
WQED-FM's Ben Burgess talks to Melora Creager - cellist, vocalist and banjo player in "Rasputina".   They are bringing their show to Club Cafe in Pittsburgh on Wednesday August 19th, 2015 at 9pm.

Nick Hilscher - Glen Miller Orchestra - 07/14/2015
Nick Hilscher is the Music Director of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  The Orchestra is giving a free concert in St. Clair Park in Greensburg, PA for the Summer Sounds series on July 24.  Hilscher talks about Glenn's life and the members of his band; Jimmy Stewart in the Glenn Miller Story; and Miller's mysterious disappearance on December 15 1944 flying across the English Channel to give a concert in Paris.

Jon Schmidt of the Piano Guys - 07/09/2015
WQED-FM's Ben Burgess talks to Jon Schmidt of the YouTube sensation Piano Guys.   They'll be coming to the Benedum Center on August 27, 2015. 

Desirae Brown of the 5 Browns - 02/09/2015
Desirae Brown is the oldest of five piano-playing siblings who comprise the 5 Browns. They've had 3 CDs at #1 on Billboard Magazine's Classical Album Chart. Their piano ensemble's repertoire ranges from Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, to lesser known works such as Nico Muhly's The Edge of the World and John Novacek's Reflections on Shenandoah. They perform Feb. 9, 2015 at West Virginia University in Morgantown.


Herbie Hancock - 10/30/2014
Jazz keyboardist, bandleader and composer Herbie Hancock was a primary architect of the "post-bop" sound as a member of Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet, and developed electronic jazz-funk fusion on his landmark album, Headhunters. Hancock's creative blend of jazz, blues, and modern classical music has harmonic stylings much like the styles of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Hancock talks with Jim Cunningham.

Gino Vannelli - 05/19/2014
WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham talked to Gino Vannelli about his illustrious career and his love of classical music.  

Hugh Masekela - 03/30/2014
Trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer and singer Hugh Masekela popularized music from his native South Africa in the 1968 hit "Grazing in the Grass" and later on Paul Simon's Graceland tour, which helped to focus attention on apartheid. Masekela has shared the stage with icons of pop and jazz, and studied classical trumpet in the US. He spoke with QED's Jim Cunningham just before a March 30 Pittsburgh concert in the week of his 75th birthday.

Sean Neukom - 01/15/2014
Composer and drummer Sean Neukom is a co-founder of Symbiotic Collusion, a contemporary music "brand" best known for its Freya String Quartet, which performs in the world premiere of Neukom's chamber-rock song cycle "The Ghost & Mister Able." Neukom talks about his latest work and the concepts behind Symbiotic Collusion.


Winifred Horan - 09/14/2013
Winifred Horan, violinist of the Irish-American folk group Solas, talks with WQED donor Jim Shock. The New York-born Ms. Horan talks about the latest album from Solas, titled "Shamrock City," and about her start in traditional Irish music and later classical training.

Kerry Livgren of Kansas - 08/12/2013
Guitarist, keyboardist, singer and songwriter Kerry Livgren of the American progressive rock band Kansas wrote their two biggest hits, "Carry On My Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind." WQED listener and donor Jim Shock asks Livgren about his musical influences and about Kansas' planned reunion at a "40th Anniversary Fan Appreciation Concert" in Pittsburgh.

Cello Fury - 07/23/2013
Pittsburgh's touring cello-rock group Cello Fury has performed at SXSW, won several Battle of the Bands events, and has had works written for them by classical composers. Cello Fury members talk about music education, and their new CD titled "Symphony of Shadows."

California Guitar Trio - 07/08/2013
Since studying with rock guitar legend Robert Fripp, the California Guitar Trio has maintained a diverse repertoire and a devotion the New Standard Tuning. They perform and record a mix of original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings of classical music. Before an appearance in Pittsburgh, they talked with WQED's Jim Cunningham and played two Bach classics plus some acoustic surf guitar.

Barry Manilow - 04/05/2013
Barry Manilow talks with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham in April, 2013.

Carl Palmer - 03/27/2013
Carl Palmer, drummer of the '70s progressive rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer talks about the band, which turned Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and other classical masterpieces by Copland, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky into favorites with rock fans. Palmer tells QED's Jim Cunningham about the drummers that influenced him and about his recent work and touring.

Sandra Feketija of Perpetuum Jazzile - 03/19/2013
Sandra Feketija, alto, soloist, and assistant music director of Perpetuum Jazzile, the pop-oriented Slovenian choir, talks with WQED-FM listener/member Jim Shock.

Carrie Rodriguez - 02/28/2013
QED donor Jim Shock interviews Mexican-American singer-songwriter and fiddle player Carrie Rodriguez.

Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary - 01/09/2013
Folk singer Peter Yarrow continues to perform with Noel Paul Stookey after the death of their colleague and friend, Mary Travers. Before a concert at Chautuaqua Institution on July 27, 2012, Yarrow talked with QED's Jim Cunningham. Yarrow spoke about his early classical music training, his new book, the origin of Puff the Magic Dragon, and more.

Jann Klose - 01/09/2013
Jim Cunningham interviews German-born pop singer-songwriter Jann Klose, who was raised in Kenya, South Africa, Germany and northeast Ohio.


Annie Haslam of Renaissance - 12/18/2012
Classical QED's Jim Cunningham interviews singer Annie Haslam of the 1970s English progressive rock band Renaissance.

Celtic Woman's Mairead Nesbitt - 12/13/2012
Irish fiddler Mairead Nesbitt of the group Celtic Woman talks with QED's Jim Cunningham before a concert at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center. The classically-trained violinist talks about her background, violin technique, her work as a member of the RTE Concert Orchestra, and Celtic Woman's latest CD, titled "Believe."

Swiss Yodeler Melanie Oesch - 10/24/2012
QED 89.3's Jim Cunningham interviews Swiss yodeler Melanie Oesch, who fronts her family folk band, die Dritten. From the Bernese Oberland, the Oesch family has found success with traditional yodeling accompanied by large and small accordion, guitar, and electric bass.

Arts Festival Update - Bruce Hornsby - 06/07/2012
Pianist, singer and songwriter Bruce Hornsby talks about the influence of composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, Charles Ives, and Elliott Carter on his rock, jazz, and bluegrass playing. Hornsby and The Noisemakers close the 2012 Three Rivers Arts Festival on Sunday, June 10th.

Bruce Hornsby [Complete interview] - 06/06/2012
Since winning the Best New Artist Grammy in 1987, pianist, singer and songwriter Bruce Hornsby has been a member of the Grateful Dead, played jazz with artists such as Jack DeJohnette, and teamed up with country star Ricky Skaggs. He talks about how composers such as Ives and Schoenberg continue to influence his music.

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull - 05/21/2012
Flutist, vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for the '70s British rock band Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson is not your typical rock star. The creator of some of the best-selling concept albums of the progressive rock era, Scottish-born Ian Anderson counts flutist James Galway among his ardent fans. Anderson's latest CD is "Thick as a Brick II," a sequel to the Jethro Tull classic released 40 years earlier in 1972.

Anoushka Shankar - 04/13/2012
Sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar is the daughter of Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar and is the paternal half-sister of Norah Jones. She's an acclaimed world music and classical music star who has performed at the Grammys, at Carnegie Hall, and with artists such as Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Joshua Bell, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and Herbie Hancock. She has played her father's music with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the London Philharmonic. Anoushka talks with QED's Jim Cunningham about her music, her father, and family friend George Harrison of The Beatles.

Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues - 03/01/2012
Best known as singer, songwriter and guitarist in the rock band The Moody Blues, Justin Hayward looks back on the birth of "symphonic rock" in 1967 with the recording and release of the landmark album "Days of Future Passed." Hayward talks with WQED's Jim Cunningham about his musical influences.


Alexandre Desplat - 07/28/2011
French film composer Alexandre Desplat burst onto the Hollywood scene in 2003 with his score for "The Girl with the Pearl Earring." His filomography includes "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Julie and Julia," "Twilight: New Moon," and "The King's Speech." His current releases are the box-office record-breaker "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," and Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner, "The Tree of Life."  QED 89.3 producer Amanda Iannuzzi talks with Alexandre  Desplat.

Michael Feinstein - The Sinatra Project - 06/21/2011
Michael Feinstein sings Frank Sinatra's signature tunes (and does it HIS way) with Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops. Feinstein tells Jim Cunningham about recording with legendary Pittsburgh guitarist Joe Negri, broadcast appearances on NPR's From the Top and his own PBS series, and about iconic musicians such as Oscar Levant and Ira Gershwin.

featured specials

WQED is proud to partner with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to cover important health topics. "Living With Mental Illness" explores diagnosis, treatment and ending the stigma associated with behavioral health issues. The "Men & Cancer" and "Women & Cancer" series reports on early detection and the latest treatment of cancers most commonly associated with men and women.


  • WQED first told her story in "Portraits for the Home Front." Now the legacy of Elizabeth Black continues in a new documentary.