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Vermont Public Radio Celebrates 30 Years of Classical Music With Walter Parker

Vermont Public Radio will celebrate Walter Parker's 30th anniversary of sharing classical music with Vermonters on October 1st, with a special live concert broadcast from the Elley-Long Music Center at Saint Michael’s College.

Several friends from Vermont’s classical music community will perform at the concert, including pianist Sally Pinkas, flutist Karen Kevra, pianist Paul Orgel, harpist Rebecca Kauffman, the Heliand Consort, and Counterpoint.

"We hope this will be a chance for our listeners to really get to know Walter,” said Kari Anderson, managing producer of VPR Classical, who will host the concert. “Walter has been the voice of classical music in Vermont for multiple generations of listeners now, and we hope that everyone will join VPR in celebrating his incredible contribution to the arts in our state."

The concert is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Guests are asked to RSVP online.

Walter Parker also will be the guest on VPR's Vermont Edition news magazine program on Tuesday, September 30 at noon and 7 p.m. to discuss Vermont's classical music community. 

Walter Parker hosts his program on VPR Classical on weekdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m, sharing the full spectrum of classical music from familiar favorites to little-known gems. 

An ardent supporter of Vermont’s classical music community, a live performance or interview on Parker’s program has become an essential destination for local and visiting musicians in advance of concerts and festivals. It’s estimated that he has produced more than 600 interviews and performances during his career.

“These conversations bring the music to life, and bring the lives and passions of the performers to light,” said Fred Child, host of Performance Today, a national classical music program by American Public Media that airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on VPR Classical. “Leonard Slatkin, Manny Ax, Midori, Jamie Laredo and Sharon Robinson, and hundreds of others have shared deeply musical and personal conversations with Walter and VPR’s audience. And why does he do all of this? It's because Walter cares. He cares about this great music. He cares about how his friends and neighbors in Vermont experience this music.”

Walter Parker joined VPR in 1984 after beginning his career in radio at WNCN in New York. After graduate studies at New York University in Musicology, he also served as Collection Assistant in the university's Music Library, and catalogued historical jazz records for the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. 

"It's been my great joy to share the music I love with VPR listeners for these 30 years,” Parker said. “I appreciate this special opportunity thanks to VPR listeners' support of classical music, and I hope to continue for many more years."

VPR Classical is Vermont's only classical music network. Kari Anderson and Walter Parker share their extensive knowledge and passion for the music Monday through Friday. Other highlights include A Passion For Opera with Peter Fox Smith, the VPR Choral Hour with Linda Radtke, Performance Today, Sunday Baroque, From the Top, and weekly concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. VPR Classical can be heard on 16 stations around the state, as well as on HD radio, VPR.net, and via VPR’s iPhone and Android apps.