Prize-winning concert pianist and exceptional raconteur James Irsay makes music exciting!
On today’s show Leonard interviews WBAI show host James Irsay! James specializes in historical recordings, with an emphasis on piano music. Yet he is just as likely to throw in music of any kind that has sparked his interest during the preceding week. He is not a radio wallflower, so be prepared for extended, unfiltered, free-flowing shpiels on any subject at all. When the subject is music and the recordings he airs, James takes an analytical path that runs through groves of highly personal opinion, gardens of historical and technical elucidation, and – wait for it – sandboxes of embarrassingly juvenile tomfoolery. He has been a musician since the age of six, and studied with such world-class performers and composers as Jorge Bolet, John Ogdon, Sasha Gorodnitzki, Ernst Krenek, Peter “PDQ Bach” Schickele and Jacob Druckman. He has performed with Itzak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman, Raymond Lewenthal, Alan Titus, and many more musical luminaries. His work at WBAI has brought much recognition to his beloved station, including The Major Armstrong Award, several Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards, and for National Public Radio, The Ohio State Award.