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WDAV Classical Public Radio today announced the launch of the pilot phase of Concierto, the first nationally available Spanish-English classical music service in America. The 2-hour pilot show can be heard every Saturday at 10 PM on WDAV in the Charlotte region and on KPBS in San Diego, CA. NPRMusic.org has agreed to help promote the show and will soon add Concierto to its popular stream, The Mix. In addition, WDAV has launched a continuous stream of Concierto programs on its HD-2 channel and online at concierto.org.
The Concierto pilot phase, funded in part by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will test the concept in a small number of key markets with significant Spanish-speaking populations. WDAV will use pilot-phase data to launch a nationally syndicated 24/7 Spanish-language classical music service in late 2011.
Explains WDAV General Manager Benjamin K. Roe, “Census estimates now put the Latino population of the United States at 46.9 million, or 15% of the total population. Among this group, the appetite for classical music is significant: a 2008 NEA survey shows that 7.6% of U.S. Hispanics identify classical as their favorite form of music, and they are increasing their participation in the arts. But out of 838 Spanish‐language U.S. radio stations, there is not a single program or service that broadcasts classical music in Spanish. We want to do something about that.”
While the show’s programming centers on the core classical music repertoire, it pays special attention to the contributions of Latin-American and Spanish composers and performers to the art form. Every hour of Concierto features at least one Spanish-heritage performer and/or composer, be it conductor Gustavo Dudamel, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, or Mexican composer Carlos Chavez.
Concierto is hosted by WDAV Program Director Frank Dominguez, who is Cuban-American and fluent in Spanish and English. “With Concierto, we are creating a perfect entryway to classical music for Latinos in America,” says Mr. Dominguez. “Whether they are ‘Spanish-dominant’ or proudly bilingual, listeners tell me they are pleasantly surprised to hear me speak in their native language. Plus, Hispanic culture is more diverse than meringue and mariachi! Classical music has strong, deep roots in all the Americas, and Concierto’s programming reflects that diversity. This is truly international music.”
Press release provided by WDAV.