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WQXR Features

George Jellinek Memorial Concert

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George Jellinek, former WQXR Music Director and host of the station’s long-running program The Vocal Scene, will be remembered at a free public concert at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 18 at Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan.

Among the scheduled participants are singers Harolyn Blackwell, Carin Gilfrey, Thomas Hampson, Robert White, WQXR program host Robert Sherman, and former announcer June Lebell. The event is free of charge. Seats must be reserved at the box office or by phone at 212-501-3330. For more information, go to*

George Jellinek became Music Director of WQXR in 1968 and continued in that capacity until 1984. In January of 1969, the station broadcast the first edition of The Vocal Scene, a program Jellinek created to fill what he saw as a neglected area of WQXR’s programming.

The Vocal Scene was a Thursday evening fixture on WQXR for 36 years, and during many of those years the program was syndicated to other classical music stations around the country. It was a showcase for Jellinek’s encyclopedic knowledge of opera and classical singing, which he began to acquire as a teenager in the audience of the opera house in his native Budapest.  His extensive collection of recordings, dating back to the beginnings of the 20th century, allowed him to present a vast repertoire of works and singers on The Vocal Scene.

Jellinek was also for many years the producer of First Hearing, another long-running WQXR program which reaching listeners across the country, and he was also a frequent panelist on The Texaco Opera Quiz, heard at intermission on Saturday broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. George Jellinek died this past January at age 90.

To read more about George Jellinek and to hear selections from The Vocal Scene, please click here and here.

UPDATE: Pianists Joel Harder and Craig Rutenberg will also perform.

At this time, all seats have been reserved and there is now a waiting list for no-shows. For more information please call Merkin Hall at 212-501-3330.