The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Meet Wisconsin Public Radio host Norman Gilliland, thanks to an interview with Paul Baker on the “Only Strings” blog. | August 20, 2015

By Jacob Stockinger

It is hard to imagine a more well-rounded classical music fan. He is a listener for all seasons.

He is Norman Gilliland (below).


He hosts The Midday show on Wisconsin Public Radio every weekday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The show includes recorded music, historical anecdotes, a daily quiz and, increasingly, guests — especially young people — who perform music live in the studio.


Gilliland more than holds his own with professionals and veterans such as the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s music director and conductor John DeMain and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s music director Andrew Sewell and various soloists that come to the two orchestras and the Madison Opera and the Wisconsin Union Theater. (You can hear Gilliland interview members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

But The Ear thinks he really shines when it comes to hosting young people and encouraging them to talk and perform -– not an easy task.

He writes notes for the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s indoors season and serves as the announcer for the WCO’s Concerts on the Square.

He has written three novels and two collections of music anecdotes.

And on top of all that, he is a really nice, friendly guy.

You can see for yourself, thanks to a terrific interview that local writer Paul Baker (below) did for his “Only Strings” blog that is attached to the program of the same name that he hosts for the UW-Madison radio station WSUM.

Paul Baker at WSUM

Here is a link:

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