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Fanfare Contributor Bio

Jim Svejda

While doing a graduate degree at Syracuse University, I called the local classical radio station, WONO, to ask if they needed any part-time announcers. In an unguarded moment, Henry Fogel hired me and proceeded to raise me from a pup (professionally speaking). After teaching me virtually all of what little I know about radio, he forced me to leave the nest for WONO’s then sister station, WCRB in Boston.

After two years producing radio documentaries in the Bay Area on Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Bruno Walter, and Adolf Busch, I joined the staff of KUSC, Los Angeles and have remained there ever since.

Along with producing the final season of The Subject is Film Music with David Raksin and hosting the syndicated programs The Opera Box and The Record Shelf (which led to The Record Shelf Guide to Classical Recordings, which went through six editions), I produce the station’s five-hour Evening Program—heard weeknights from 7:00 to midnight, Pacific time, at—which has featured (and continues to feature) regular evening-long appearances by many of the great musicians, conductors, and composers of our time. Given the fact that KUSC does serve the film capitol of the world, this has included virtually every significant film composer of the last three decades. In fact, an annual feature presents all five composers nominated that year for the Academy Award. Other annual features include the aggressively tasteless KUSC New Year’s Eve Bash and the Gramophone Classical Music Awards wrap-up show (traditionally aired the evening the awards are passed out in London) with Gramophone’s editor-in-chief, James Jolly.

I live with my with Cathy and our two dogs in the picturesque San Gabriel Valley hill town of Sierra Madre, which doubled for the village of Santa Mira in the original (and vastly superior) version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (For 18 years I reviewed movies for CBS Radio until—on the same day, with less than an hour break—I saw screenings of There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men, after which I finally became convinced that life is much too short to sit through six bad movies per week.)

My hobbies include cooking Indian food, travel, and the Detroit Tigers.


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