Kevin Gordon

Classical Host

A veteran broadcaster, Kevin garnered a wealth of experience in radio before taking the weekday classical host position from 2 to 6 PM at WRTI . He served as host on the classical music station WQXR in NYC for 15 years, on Classical South Florida WKCP in Miami, and on WINS, NBC News, and the RKO Radio Network, all in New York.

In addition to his experience in radio, Kevin has performed comedy on the ABC Radio Network and narrated programs at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, Rochester’s Strasenbergh Planetarium and the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias in Valencia, Spain.  He appeared onstage at the Kennedy Center in a two-person program about Pablo Casals, and at Lincoln Center Out of Doors as the host of A Salute to Old Time Radio. Kevin has been the host of New York City’s Bryant Park Festivals, and has appeared onstage in various theatrical productions.

When he’s not on the air, or on the stage, Kevin enjoys a prominent career as a fine artist and portrait painter with works on display at numerous universities — including Columbia, Dartmouth, and the University of Michigan — and at hospitals and private collections throughout the country. His illustrations appear in books of all types, including his own best-selling, The Good Cigar. He's quite a talented guy!

Kevin grew up in Rochester, New York in a home filled with music and art. Is he a musician? “I play piano and guitar badly,” he quips. “But I try.” How did he break into classical music hosting? At WQXR, he originally started out in the news department, and then developed a background and passion for classical music, and transitioned in the ‘90s to classical host.

Favorite composer? “Beethoven. I really connect with him.” Kevin is so fascinated with the composer that he went to Vienna to visit all of the apartments that Beethoven lived in. “He was a bad tenant – he got kicked out a lot, so I was busy!”

Kevin also wrote a book about conductor George Szell, filled with anecdotes.

As he puts it, he has been — at one time or another — a television weatherman, a nightclub magician, a private pilot, and an amateur bullfighter.  Kevin's wife is a licensed acupuncturist, and his son is an Emmy Award-winning actor.

He’s enthused about his latest challenge of charming listeners in the Philadelphia tri-state region. “I feel like I found my home at WRTI and in Philadelphia, and I’m really impressed with the rich backgrounds of my colleagues here at the station.”

Kevin can be heard on weekdays from 2 to 6 pm.

April 4, 2021. Holocaust Remembrance Day is April 8th, so this week we turn to the music of 20th-century, Bohemian-born composer Walter Kaufmann, who wrote most of his works in exile, having escaped the Nazi persecution of the Jews.

March 1, 2021. We're kicking off our celebration of Women's History Month with sparkling music by Schumann and Mendelssohn presented by The Nash Ensemble of London. But it’s not Robert and Felix who have written the three pieces we’re spotlighting, but Clara and Fanny.

Unsplash/Tabrez Syed

Hail to the Chief! Flix@5, on WRTI every weekday after the news at 5 PM, salutes U.S. Presidents the week of February 15th with movies that cover more than four score and seven years of history at The White House.

January 25th, 2021. Michael Tilson Thomas is artistic director and founder of Miami's New World Symphony, music director laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, and conductor laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. On top of that, he's also a composer. His latest recording with San Francisco Symphony juxtaposes two poignant works; his earliest, From the Diary of Anne Frank, and his latest, Meditations on Rilke.

Stanley Gordon

Beethoven. Sure, he was the deaf, scowling musical genius with the wild hair. But those who knew him thought of him a little differently. We’ll take a look at some little-known quirks of the great composer, culled from documented recollections of his friends and acquaintances, biographies, and my conversation with John Suchet, author of Beethoven: The Man Revealed.

Ludwig van Beethoven, who lived from 1770 to 1827, is one of the most popular composers of all time.  Although he began to lose his hearing in his late 20s, and went completely deaf by his mid 40s, his deafness did nothing to defeat his ability to compose. Beethoven’s influence around the globe has not been hampered by geography, wars. or even pandemics. Let’s examine the pervasive appeal of Beethoven, which has transformed him from musical genius to Promethean hero to demigod.

December 7, 2020.  What do Antonio Vivaldi and Astor Piazzola have in common? The German violinist Arabella Steinbacher. Her new album Four Seasons features the seasons heard through the music of Vivaldi, with his most famous work, The Four Seasons, and Piazzola with his Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.

November 16, 2020. Vienna was the place to be in the year 1900. It was a time of cross-fertilization of intellectual life. Sigmund Freud psychoanalyzed Gustav Mahler. Arnold Scheonberg took painting lessons from the Secessionist artist Richard Gerstl, who had an affair with Schoenberg’s wife. Gustav Klimt painted a portrait of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s sister for her wedding. This period comes to life again through its music in our Classical Album of the Week: Vienne 1900.

When I’m not spending afternoons with you on WRTI, I paint. My paintings, mostly portraits, are in public and private collections both here and abroad. So, it seems natural that Flix@5 is bringing you something that’s near and dear to my heart, something you don’t often get on the radio: art. The week of November 16th is Artists Week!

 

Getty Images/ Silver Screen Collection

When composer Bernard Herrmann made the move from New York to Hollywood in 1951 to score the film, The Day The Earth Stood Still, he already had a taste of what an alien invasion could sound like; in 1938 he had conducted the live music for Orson Welles’ infamous Halloween radio broadcast, The War of the Worlds.

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