Kendall Todd

Production Assistant

Kendall Todd grew up in San Diego, California, and is asked every day why she left. She is a graduate of Tufts University with degrees in French and International Relations. Her interest in music began at age 7, when she went to a Christmas pops concert and got to hold a violin in an instrument petting zoo; she fell in love, and the rest is history. She played in the San Diego Youth Symphony and the Tufts Symphony Orchestra, and especially enjoys being in string quartets. Outside of classical music, her hobbies include arguing about politics, binge-listening to history or science podcasts, and trying every locally-owned coffee shop in the Greater Boston Area. At WCRB, she does a little bit of everything, from behind-the-scenes tasks to filling in for current hosts.

Maurice Ravel, seated at a piano, with a birthday hat
Photo by Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

The great French composer Maurice Ravel turns 142 today, and it seems like he's popping up everywhere, both in the news and in the concert hall.

Petr Kratochvil

The year was 1788. Thomas Jefferson, nearing the end of his post as the Ambassador to France, spent his days wandering the streets of Paris, attending concerts and the theater, and combing through bookshops in search of any volumes that would be pertinent to the fledgling United States of America.

In Vienna, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart churned out more than 40 compositions, including the three symphonies that would be his last - numbers 39, 40, and 41.

And across the ocean, as more and more states ratified the U.S. Constitution, General George Washington began the campaign that resulted in his unanimous election as the new nation's first president.

We play a lot of Mozart on WCRB, and for good reason. Though he's getting a little up there in years - his 261st birthday would be this Friday, January 27 - there are still so many wonderful performances and recordings of Mozart's music that prove it is just as relevant, timeless, and powerful as ever. In fact, 2016 was an all-around great year for the Austrian maestro (his CD sales are evidence enough of that).

When I was growing up, my younger sister would spend every car trip begging my mom to change the radio station from KUSC – our local classical station in Southern California – to something a little more modern, with thumping beats and a chorus she could sing along to. In her eyes, it was like there were two different worlds of music – the good stuff, and the boring stuff (in my mind, those categories were swapped). She almost had me convinced, too: how could I possibly reconcile my Bruch violin concerto or my Mozart symphony with the drums and the synthesizers on the radio?