Heather McDougall

Classical Music Director

Heather McDougall is a cellist and a native of the Philadelphia area, who took the long road to WRTI. "Two decades ago, Chicago came calling, and then Dublin...a great many musical adventures were had on both sides of the Atlantic along the way, and then 2019 turned out to be the year I found my way back to Philly. And what a brilliant moment to return – the city is just soaring artistically."

Heather programs the classical music heard on WRTI.  "Our job in classical radio has never been more exciting. We're in a golden age of music-making; the array of stunning string quartets emerging on the scene every year just takes my breath away. We're spoiled...in the best way possible!"

Heather's background includes public media project management, overseeing production and managing partnerships for radio programming and podcasts, distributed nationally and internationally by the WFMT Radio Network-Chicago.

She has collaborated with a wide array of creative organizations, including the Poetry Foundation, Radio New Zealand, Shanghai Conservatory of Music and European Broadcasting Union. She called Ireland home for more than a decade – much of that time working in the radio and music divisions of RTÉ, the national public media organization.

As an arts manager, she has also focused on festivals and community engagement – with roles at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Heather has a B.M. in Cello Performance (Eastman School of Music), B.A. in Linguistics (University of Rochester) and M.Phil. in Digital Humanities and Culture (Trinity College Dublin).
 

Ways to Connect

October 14, 2019. It’s all in the family—a phrase that has rung true many, many times in classical music, past and present. Looking back to the 18th century, the extended Bach family and the Haydn brothers, Joseph and Michael, have long been evidence of music as a family affair.

October 7, 2019. As we near the end of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), WRTI rolls out an array of orchestral showstoppers from Mexico’s finest composers.

September 3, 2019. With the start of the 2019-2020 season just around the corner, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra organization will soon be celebrating a big anniversary —80 years young! To mark this milestone, as well as WRTI’s Back to School Week, we’re bringing to you the PYO 2014 live recording as our Classical Album of the Week.

August 26, 2019. In this week’s Classical Album of the Week, Russian-British violinist Alina Ibragimova continues her long-standing musical collaboration with French pianist Cédric Tiberghien in a new recording including Brahms’ Violin Sonatas and one of Clara Schumann’s Three Romances. 

August 5, 2019. It’s not every day we have an opportunity to mark a 400th anniversary, even in classical music circles. This week, we’re excited to celebrate the work of Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)—one of the most important composers of 17th-century Venice.

July 15, 2019.  At age 21, if your last name has already been transformed into an “ism," then it’s fair to say you’ve arrived. So it is with British saxophonist Jess Gillam.

Nicolas Tissot / Unsplash

Every fourth for the Fourth! What’s that, you say? This Independence Day, join WRTI to celebrate our nation’s birthday with a classical playlist not to be missed from 6 AM to 6 PM. Every fourth piece (at least!) is by an American composer.

June 17, 2019. For a guy associated with the levity and comedic flourish of 19th-century French operetta (think Moulin Rouge and the "can-can"), Jacques Offenbach and his “militaire” cello concerto may come as a bit of a surprise to some classical listeners.

June 10, 2019. Four Women is not just the debut album of pianist Samantha Ege, it’s a window onto a labor of love. A British artist of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage, Ege has dedicated the last several years of her life to amplifying under-represented women composers—both Europeans and African-Americans— inlcuding Florence Price, Vítězslava Kaprálová, Ethel Bilsland, and Margaret Bonds.

May 13, 2019. Himmelsmusik, German for “heavenly music," is the latest project of Austrian theorbo player Christina Pluhar and her early-music ensemble L’Arpeggiata, based in France.