Classical music leader and radio broadcaster John Nasukaluk Clare began his tenure as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Classic 107.3, an Arts and Education Council grantee, in October 2019. We sat down with him to learn more about his career in radio and how he likes St. Louis.

What started your passion for music and radio?

I grew up playing violin, but listened to pop music, jazz and classical. I remember working on our house that we were building one day and heard a symphony on the radio. It stopped me in my tracks. The music was by Aaron Copland, and he used Fanfare for the Common Man in the finale. Years later, I would remember that trance and the power of radio. So one summer I didn’t go to a music camp to study, and wound up working at the radio station as a student in college. I was hooked, and what was a summer gig turned into a profession - the sort of creativity I found in music was in broadcasting, as well.

What has been most surprising or exciting about living in St. Louis?

I am completely blown away by the talented music community, as well as the generosity of the area. I am surprised at how Southern St . Louis feels and how many fabulous BBQ places there are!

Listeners can hear you on Sirius XM Symphony Hall. What is it like hosting?

Hosting weekday mornings on Symphony Hall is a real joy. I hear from listeners around the world (just got a note from Portugal today!) and pinch myself being able to share classical music to such a broad audience. I’ve been fortunate to meet legends like Anne-Sophie Mutter, Hilary Hahn and Shai Wosner through my work there. It is a nice blend to keep in touch with my broadcast ‘chops’ announcing daily, with my duties at Classic 107.3 as a manager.

Radio listeners are increasing during our current health crisis. Why do you think that is?

Music is so powerful, and it has that ability to inspire, relax and educate you. I really believe it has a healing quality, as well. It is easy to lose yourself for 15 minutes, an hour, or a whole day. Classic 107.3 has seen folks increase their listening, and we hope, increase their giving as they rely on it more.

What are you looking forward to at Classic 107.3? 

There is so much! We just added the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on Saturday afternoons, and coming up in July, we are partnering with Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis for a series of radio plays. Podcasts about The MUNY, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis are in the works and a redesigned website for even easier browsing are coming up. Carol Commerford is joining us as our first ever Education Director and stations around the U.S. are talking our signature production, The Slatkin Shuffle!

Learn more about Classic 107.3 at classic1073.org. Listen to Clare weekday mornings on Sirius XM Symphony Hall.