San Anselmo. My mom’s family has been in the Ross Valley since the 1850’s.
Other places lived:
San Diego, St. Louis and Portland
Almost seven years of college searching for a degree I never found. Studied: Film and broadcasting.
Middle child in a close family. Married to my great love, Jacqueline. Father to Jody and Bear. Jody works in San Diego and my son Bear lives in Portland.
Like to sail, especially alone in a small boat when it’s just you against the wind.
Cooking. I think it’s time for some classes on technique. Haven’t poisoned anyone…yet.
What would I do for a living if not on air?:
I really haven’t a clue. I love what I do and so fortunate to still have the chance to do it!
Greatest professional achievement:
Named to the Bay Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame and Winning “Bay Area’s Best” Award 2007 – 2010 as “Favorite Morning Show” thanks to SF Magazine readers. You are the best!
Best thing about living in the Bay Area:
The overwhelming sense of “home” I feel here and there is so much to see and do. They should make weekends longer so we can fit all the fun in.
Dianne’s been in radio since forever, well, beginning in Kansas City in 1980 on Classical KXTR. She’s an Oakland native and still lives in O-town with her husband Jim who makes his living as something called a pediatric intensivist. (If you have to ask, you don’t want to know.) Both kids up and out at this point and although that means that the house stays neat and tidy, it does get a little quiet sometimes. Dianne loves Jeopardy, anything Italian, edible or not, and spontaneous trips to the wine country.
I’ve lived on a dairy farm in Massachusetts and out in the sticks of the West Virginia hills, but mostly I grew up in Wethersfield, Connecticut. It’s a small, 370-year-old town on the Connecticut River next to Hartford. Before coming to San Francisco I lived in and around New York City for 24 years. They don’t call it Fun City for nothing!
History major at the University of Connecticut until I discovered the campus radio station. Radio has been my magic carpet ride as well as my passport. I’ve been lucky enough to broadcast from the World Trade Center in New York many times, at the Berlin Wall the year it came down, and do live broadcasts from places like Tokyo and Abbey Road Studios in London.
Duke Ellington said it best: “There are two kinds of music, good and bad”
Me and my wonderful young son Harrison.
Music… then there is music. Reading about music. Going to concerts. Talking about CDs, performers, concerts, instruments and recordings. I believe there is a pattern going on here!
My shelves are filled with ones I’m still trying to get to for the first time. But two I never get tired of are “Truman” by David McCullogh, and a collection of poetry on my night stand called “Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart”.
Weird as it may sound “Cinema Paradiso” and Cameron Crowe’s delightful autobiographical film “Almost Famous”. Currently we’ve got “Ratatouille” in heavy rotation at our place.
As kid I played the line in football and there are times when nothing beats a great football game. But if rolling off a dive boat on the backside of Molokini near Maui and drifting down 70 feet below the surface with the sound of humpbacks in my ear and white-tip reef sharks cruising the reef in front of me is a sport, that’s pretty close to perfection!
Looking at the glass half empty instead of half full. That little tiny shift makes all the difference with me, some stranger, a sales clerk, a coworker or the ones close to me.
12 CDs for a Desert Island:
In no particular order: The Beatles “Revolver,” every song used a different studio gimmick or arrangement trick… Yo Yo Ma’s Bach Cello Suites… John Williams’ Baroque Album — his guitar playing is just incredible. He nails every piece. Anything by Peter Gabriel, and Pat Methany… The Gentle Side of John Coltrane feature my absolute favorite jazz tune EVER, called ‘Dear Lord’… Rie Schmidt and Ben Verdery’s “Reverie” — flute and guitar duets from a wonderful husband and wife team that’s perfect for an intimate or romantic dinner… Leo Brouwer’s El Decameron Negro performed by William Kanengiser… legendary English folk singer Nick Drake’s “Bryter Layter.. Lang Lang’s recording of Rachmaninov’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini — I know every note and nuance of that piece yet this kid breathes new life into a dear old friend… German composer Paul Hindemith’s ballet score “Four Temperaments” always seems to take me somewhere special, and isn’t that ultimately what music is all about?.. And how about an album from Bob Dylan’s late-early-middle period (“Highway 61” or “Blonde on Blonde”)?
Best Thing about Living in the Bay Area:
The Bay Area is quaint and truly international at the same time. It’s got it all… natural beauty, incredible history, culture with lots of music. Then there is the openness and diversity which is so important to me. I think the fact we sit right next to the magnificent Pacific Ocean, with its reinvigorating breeze that has come across thousands of miles, allows us to drop all our baggage and re-invent ourselves.
A Few Other Favorite Things:
My son Harrison… espresso (pulled short)… Paris… old Martin guitars… west Marin back-roads… Cape Cod… New York City (except in August)… Swiss watches… conga drums and Afro-Cuban music, koa bowls and Hawaii (the big Island)… fountain pens… great stereo systems… atlases(new and old), history books and biographies… carefully re-mastered CDs (makes all the difference)… turtles, a wonderful meal with great friends… the Golden Gate Bridge… keeping a journal (since 1971) and container gardens.
Washington, DC, a great city that everyone loves to hate.
Other places lived:
(non-scholastically) Baltimore, New York, Brooklyn
Oberlin College, Ohio; Institute for Audio Research, New York; University of San Francisco
After over 20 years of marriage to my best friend Anne, we have a joyful new project: our daughter Stella, born October 2002. We also share our space with two cocker spaniels and a somewhat loopy cat.
I love to cook. I love to eat, too, and cooking is a great way to relax at the end of the day while at the same time satisfying a very primal need.
Music (Duh!), reading, watching sports, puttering around our house and yard.
Most unusual prior job:
Teaching fencing and stage combat.
Two books I never get tired of:
Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and Sherman Alexie’s “Reservation Blues.”
Two movies I never get tired of:
“Casablanca” and “Fantasia.”
Baseball is the only sport truly given to us by the gods. And in 2004, we found out that the gods have a wicked sense of humor. Go BoSox!
If marooned on a desert island with only 12 CDs to listen to (and unlimited batteries), one would be:
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s one of the few musical masterpieces of the late 20th century that crosses ALL musical boundaries. And you can sing along. I’d also have to take Andreas Haefliger & the Takacs Quartet playing “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and the “Trout Quintet.” Great music, enthusiastically and beautifully played. And you can sing along.
My best vacation ever:
My wife “kidnapped” me and took me to Disneyland for my – umm — a rather significant birthday.
Best thing about living in the Bay Area:
After 16 years of “high anxiety” in New York City, I love the way the Bay Area gives you space for quality of life concerns, without losing any of its energy and vitality.
My favorite thing about this job is getting phone calls or email from listeners (especially young people) who tell me, “I never thought I’d enjoy classical music, but now I listen to your station all the time.” That’s what it’s all about.
Marina, Ca. I usually say, “Monterey” as most people aren’t familiar with our little city on the central coast.
Favorite Composers on KDFC:
Beethoven, Dvorak (Symph. #9 and Slavonic Dances), Mendelssohn (Scottish Symphony, The Hebrides and Midsummer Night’s Dream Ovt.) and just about anything by Saint-Saens, Part, Chopin and Debussy. Hmm…am I a romantic?
All the usuals; being outdoors (a bike ride is great but I’m just as happy laying in a hammock w/ a good book), enjoying good food with friends and long, hilarious discussions about how we’re going to change the world, quality time with the family, a nice, long nap in the afternoon, if I can get away with it and sharing classical music with KDFC listeners, of course.
I grew up in small-town Colorado; attended the University of Denver. The greatest percentage of my career has been spent right here in the Bay Area, but I’ve done radio all over the USA. And I do mean all over the USA, as part of that time was spent on nationwide satellite radio.
“Jeopardy” categories in which I excel:
Popular Music, World Geography, Astronomy, Science. Not so sharp in Plant Varieties, Renaissance Poetry, and Words that Begin and End With the Letter “X.”
Something that might surprise you:
I’ve played plenty of gigs as a club DJ. (Not so much lately, as I’ve been playing more Debussy than Deadmau5.)
On things I enjoy:
Anyone/Anything that makes me laugh and think seriously at the same time. Examples: Stephen Colbert, The Onion, “Dr. Strangelove,” etc.
On the Bay Area:
I’ve moved here twice! I think that says a lot.
I’ve worked here twice! That too says a lot. This is the greatest group of colleagues I’ve ever had, bar none.
I’m a New Yorker with California rising.
Southern Illinois University where I majored in film with a documentary emphasis, and minored in art history…and bartending.
Big extended family with lots of kids and branches going off every which way on the family tree. My husband, Peter, and I live in Wine Country with Stella, our golden doodle, two cats and sixteen chickens.
Met my Husband:
On an Oscar Meyer Wiener commercial.
What I love besides radio:
Music (classical and folk especially), theater, books, the indie side of movies, cooking – especially for elaborate dinner parties. (We definitely need a KDFC cooking club)
I’ve been the program director at Sonoma County’s public radio station, KRCB, for 18 years. My music program is “Our Roots Are Showing” – folk and acoustic music on Saturday afternoons.
Impossible to choose. With little time to read lately, I’ve been managing my reading jones with short stories. St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised By Wolves by Karen Russell – took my breath away. Love reading biographies of European Queens but not sure why I fell into that.
Ravel, Mendelssohn, all the new young string bands, folkie singer-songwriters, close harmony.
Friends who refuse to vote on principle.
I spent 13 years at National Public Radio, having worked with audio since the days of razor blades and reel-to-reel tape players. I studied Music Theory at the University of Michigan School of Music, and Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I’ve worked at recording studios in New York, and radio stations in New Hampshire and North Carolina.
Coming to San Francisco:
I can’t wait to discover and dive into the cultural life here; so much to do, so much to see, so much to share.
I tend to like books that drive other people crazy – one of my favorites is Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine, which from the first page features extensive footnotes, despite the fact that all the “action” takes place during a 30-second escalator ride during an office-worker’s lunch hour.
Too many to mention, although Brazil would be near the top.
Allentown PA – not at all how Billy Joel described it! – where you can find some of the most wonderful (and strange) Pennsylvania Dutch food goodies; don’t worry, I have drastically changed (i.e. improved) my diet since those days!
Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (I was there with Rik Malone); SUNY Purchase; The Juilliard School of Music; and a much too short stint in Cambridge
Music Director of American Bach Soloists; Professor of Music at University of California, Davis
I’m a more or less rabid Giants fan. I played Little League when I was a kid, and now – as a grownup – I’d be in AT&T Park for every game if I could.
Maui, Florence, London, New York, and … San Francisco!
Most Unusual Prior Job:
Tap dancing with Ann Miller in a pre-Broadway production of “Anything Goes” … OK, some explanation: While a student at Oberlin Conservatory, I worked in summer stock in Ohio (The Kenley Players) and performed in musicals with Ann, Ed Ames, The Hudson Brothers, Rip Taylor, and even Estelle Harris (George Constanza’s mother on Seinfeld). It was a blast, but I was a bit of a fish out of water.
Greatest Professional Achievement:
Tap dancing with Ann Miller in a pre-Broadway production of “Anything Goes” (haha); also performing – in my previous life as a tenor – with Pavarotti, Caballe, Domingo, Freni, and others at the San Francisco Opera, and with Gustav Leonhardt, Ton Koopman, Roger Norrington and others in early music.
Not such an easy question! Bach, of course, but Handel ranks a close second.
Best Things about the Bay Area:
Marin Headlands and Muir Woods; our extraordinary arts organizations; Alice Waters and her hundreds of disciples
CD for a Desert Island:
Mahler’s “Das Lied von der Erde” with alto Mildred Miller and tenor Ernst Haefliger, conducted by Bruno Walter
Dozens and dozens of them, but they’re still mostly unread … someday!
Poughkeepsie, New York. The name, of Native American origin, means “reed-covered lodge by the little watering place.”
Undergraduate at MIT, a prospective physics major who ended up a music major (yes, at MIT). My professors included Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison, who is still a member of the faculty. Graduate school at Yale in music theory.
In addition to radio, teaching at the college level, preconcert lectures for a wide variety of organizations, programming and hosting the classical channel on Delta Airlines, writing music and lyrics, performing on piano and bass, serving as expert witness in music copyright cases.
Married to a wonderful and versatile soprano, Karen Benjamin. Son Jake, a terrific jazz vibraphonist and pianist, is at Columbia University. Daughter Molly is in high school and is an amazing singer/songwriter whose career is just taking off. (NOTE: All appraisals of my family’s talent are totally objective.)
So many, but I’ll tell you the top five. Number one is Stravinsky. The next four (in no particular order) are Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Schubert.
Favorite Broadway musical:
The King and I
Caribou, Maine (frequently listed as the coldest spot in the lower 48 states!)
Other places lived:
Montreal, Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans and Kansas City.
I studied music at the University of Maine, with a piano major/voice minor.
I love to sing, and am looking for a chorale to join in the area. I also love seeing music performed live. There’s also nothing quite like spending a quiet evening at home with the cat and my Shih tzu!
On living in California:
I love living here! The scenery is amazing, and every day presents itself with the opportunity to discover something new.