Now that the FCC has given its license transfer approvals, Classical and Spanish Tropical formats are set to switch places on October 8th. The newly non-commercial WQXR-FM, with a new owner and new frequency, is planning a big debut performance.
The switchover for WQXR will occur at 8:00 pm, live from the stage of Carnegie Hall. WQXR’s first broadcast as a part of the WNYC family will be a live presentation of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s first concert of their 37th Season, airing on 105.9 FM and via live webstream at www.wqxr.org. The concert will also be simulcast on WNYC 93.9 FM.
“It’s a thrill to be able to launch WQXR with our long-time friends from Orpheus and Carnegie Hall, organizations that share our commitment to keeping classical music accessible and relevant” said Laura Walker, President and CEO of WNYC. “Their partnership in this landmark moment allows us to inaugurate WQXR with a continuation of its legacy of bringing the concert hall experience into the homes and lives of New Yorkers, as we simultaneously securing a future for classical radio in New York. Whether live in the audience, listening to the radio, or streaming us online, we invite all of New York to join us in this historic event,” she added.
The evening’s performance by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will feature the World Premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Concerto, The Echoes, which is part of Orpheus’s New Brandenburgs commissioning project. Also on the program is Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, Anton Webern’s arrangement of Bach’s Musical Offering “Ricercare,” and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring acclaimed violinist Janine Jansen.
WNYC’s purchase of the broadcast license for 105.9 FM and the WQXR brand and website is being supported by The Campaign to Preserve Classical Music Radio in New York City, a $15 million campaign co-chaired by renowned classical pianist Emanuel Ax, along with WNYC Board members Nicki Newman Tanner and Martha Fleischman. The Campaign has raised $7.2 million to date.
The deal between The New York Times Company, WNYC Radio, and Univision was first announced in July 2009. As part of the transaction, Univision’s Spanish-language station WCAA 105.9 FM will move to 96.3 FM, WQXR’s former home. Univision will pay the Times Company $33.5 million to exchange the 105.9 FCC license and transmitting equipment for the Times Company’s license, equipment, and signal at 96.3. WNYC will then purchase the FCC broadcast license for 105.9, all related transmitting equipment, and WQXR’s call letters and Web site from the Times Company for $11.5 million.