An important milestone takes place this year and I want to draw some attention to it. WFMT General Manager Steve Robinson is celebrating his 10th anniversary as GM of Chicago’s only classical music station and the WFMT Radio Network. For those of us lucky enough to know and work with Steve, we can attest to his generosity and visionary leadership in the classical music arena. His energetic and effective work on behalf of all of the classical music organizations, performers, and music schools in Chicago is enormous.
It would take a lot more space then we have to share all of the highlights of the last ten years of Steve’s stewardship, but here are a few that I would like to share.
• Instituted live broadcasts of ensembles and special events including the Chicago Children’s Choir, the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, the South African opera, Princess Magogo, a day-long celebration of Cedille Records, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and hundreds of others
• Produced Introductions, a weekly series featuring the most gifted young instrumentalists, chamber ensembles, choruses, bands, and orchestras in the WFMT broadcast area
• Produced The Global Maestro: A Tribute to Paul Freeman that ran for 26 episodes
• Steve led the Chicago media campaign for the tsunami victims that raises over $2 million in one day and followed that up by raising over $3 million for the Haiti earthquake victims
Steve has received awards and recognition from pretty much every classical music organization in the city – and the Chicago Sinfonietta is proud to be counted among them. Are you getting the idea that this is one cool guy? Please join me by posting your own Steve Robinson story (if its funny or embarrassing to Steve you get extra credit), or favorite WFMT moment of the last ten years, or maybe just a thank you to a man who has made a huge difference in what we hear and see every day. Steve, congratulations and a huge thank you for ten fantastic years!