Don Matthews

Classical Music Director | Host

Don Matthews was born in Detroit and is the son of a motion picture sound man.  He received a B.A. in Music from Eastern Michigan University and Masters in Vocal Performance from USC.  Don performed as a member of the San Francisco Opera chorus for three seasons.  He moved to Boston to study and while there became involved in radio, working at both WBUR and WGBH, where he was a producer for Robert J. Lurtsema.

In 1998, Don moved to Ashland to take a job with Jefferson Public Radio. He’s a member of the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers and has also been a guest soloist with both the Rogue Valley Chorale and Siskiyou Singers. Don is well known to Rogue Valley theater goers having appeared in numerous productions including, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Man of La Mancha and Sweeney Todd.

Recordings
4:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Music At The End

When I was a student at university, I earned extra money by singing in a church choir and at a temple. As part of my duties, I often took part in services to mark the passing of a member of the congregation. Sometimes family members had specific music they wanted to hear; when they didn’t know what to choose, the rabbi or minister would select something he deemed appropriate, like Handel’s “The Trumpet Shall Sound” or Copland’s arrangement of “At the River.” The music was beautiful, but mostly I sang to make a little extra money. I didn’t think too much about the deeper meaning of the piece. I was paid to help people honor a life, but it wasn’t personal.

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Recordings
3:39 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Best Albums Of 2013

JPR music hosts take a stab identifying standout recordings of 2013.

Don Matthews | Classical Music Director & Host First Concert

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Live Session Archive
3:54 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Zemlinsky String Quartet Live Session

Zemlinsky String Quartet
Qamuuqin Maxwell

Since its founding in 1994, The Zemlinsky String Quartet has become a much lauded example of the Czech string quartet tradition. The ensemble is named after the Austrian composer, conductor and teacher Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942), whose enormous contribution to Czech, German and Jewish culture during his 16-year stay in Prague was underestimated for decades. His four string quartets (the second one being dedicated to his student and brother-in-law Arnold Schönberg) belong to the basic repertoire of the ensemble.

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9:07 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Another Crack in Classical Music's Glass Ceiling

Lead in text: 
In September, conductor Marin Alsop became the first woman to conduct "Last Night at the Proms" in their 118 year history. She has led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (the 1st woman ever to lead a major American orchestra) since 2007 and is a frequent contributor to NPR's Saturday Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. Corrine Cox, not a classical musician, has been inspired by Alsop's struggle against the male-dominated world of classical music.
Simply put, Marin Alsop has inspired me. Not to follow some long suppressed dream of becoming a conductor, but something more than that; to pursue my goals no matter what the odds. Because the odds were most definitely not in Alsop's favour.
San Francisco Opera
4:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Saturday Opera Offers Alternative Story Of Jesus and Mary

Yeshua (Nathan Gunn), with Mary Magdalene (Sasha Cooke)

On Saturday morning at 10, JPR will present the radio broadcast premiere of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Mark Adamo, performed by the San Francisco Opera.

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First Concert

Classical music for the morning hours, including a mix of favorites from the repertoire and a healthy dose of lesser known composers and pieces.  Includes a daily featured work at 9am, and As It Was at 9:30am.

Tye Austin Live Session
7:41 am
Fri June 7, 2013

SOU Guitarist Tye Austin Follows Carnegie Hall With JPR Classics Live Session

Guitarist Tye Austin

Aired 6-7-2013

SOU guitar performance major Tye Austin visited with JPR's Don Matthews about his performance at Carnegie Hall, as well as his Requiem for the late David Grubbs.