Historian  and  Scholar  Philip  Gossett

A Conversation with Bruce Duffie


Philip Gossett, Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Emeritus Professor of Music, is a music historian with special interests in 19th-century Italian opera, sketch studies, aesthetics, textual criticism, and performance practice. He is author of two books on Donizetti and of Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera (2006, Chicago), which won the Otto Kinkeldey Award of the American Musicological Society as the best book on music of the year. He serves as General Editor of The Works of Giuseppe Verdi (The University of Chicago Press and Casa Ricordi of Milan) and of Works of Gioachino Rossini (Baerenreiter-Verlag, Kassel). One of the world's foremost experts on Italian opera, Gossett is the first musicologist to be awarded the Mellon Distingushed Achievement Award; he also holds the Cavaliere di Gran Croce, the Italian government's highest civilian honor. Professor Gossett has served as President of the American Musicological Society and of the Society for Textual Scholarship, as Dean of Humanities at Chicago, and as lecturer and consultant at opera houses and festivals in America and Italy. He was the musicological consultant to the Verdi Festival in Parma during the Verdi centennial year (2001). He has been at the University of Chicago since 1968.

--  From the University of Chicago website 

Living in Chicago has always been exciting for many reasons, not the least of which are the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera of Chicago.  Being brought up with these two giants as well as myriad chamber groups made for a wonderful life
— not just for me, though I would selfishly like to think so, but for anyone and everyone who lives or visits here.  So it is fitting that Chicago is also home to the scholar who is editing the new editions of the operas of Verdi and Rossini, Philip Gossett.

Besides being ensconced at the University of Chicago, Gossett has given his time and expertise to the publishers of these new scores. 

In June of 1988, when the work was in full swing, I was able to have a wonderful chat with Gossett.  He was frank and earnest about his work and his ideas, and we simply discussed many of the topics of mutual interest.

Much of what was said appeared in an issue of The Opera Journal, and now it has been slightly re-edited and gains new life on this webpage.  The photos have been added, as have the links which refer to my interviews elsewhere on my website.

Here is that conversation . . . . . . . . .

Bruce Duffie:    You’ve done a lot of work with the scholarship of Verdi, and are now involved with the new edition published by the University of Chicago and the House of Ricordi.  How much alteration is there in the new scores from what’s been used for all these years?

Philip Gossett:    It varies, of course, from score to score.  On some occasions, the differences are small.  We like to think that even though they are small, for the performers the differences are palpable.  The performers know where they are, and are used to other notes and rhythms and words.  Occasionally they will come to us and ask how we know that our version is correct, and in some cases we do know that Verdi did approve or even want a change here or there.  He even made occasional mistakes and corrected them!  But in many cases, the differences arose because of errors by copyists, or failure to read what the manuscript said.

BD:    Is Verdi’s manuscript particularly hard to read?

gossettPG:    No, it’s not that hard.  It’s not like Beethoven or Janáček, but unless you know the autographs very well, you can be misled.  There are many places where there are changes in Verdi’s own hand, and it’s important to know them from changes made by somebody else.  Some of the most interesting changes are done for reasons of censorship.

BD:    Is there any possibility that you are restoring a version that Verdi decided was better after the change, even if it’s by another hand?

PG:    We always worry about that, and we try to get it right.  We don’t have Verdi to tell us what’s right and what’s wrong, and to an extent we have to penetrate the whole process.  There are scholars who work on textual questions in literature, who are becoming more and more aware of putting into historical perspective the whole history of the text.  In some cases we know why the changes were made.  Perhaps the most famous is in Rigoletto.  The Duke comes to the inn in the last act and orders from Sparafucile two things right away.  He always used to say “una stanza e del vino” (a room and some wine).  At this, Rigoletto turns to Gilda and says, “You see what a terrible man he is!”  In fact, the Duke’s words were never Verdi’s.  He never put them in himself.  His score and the sketch are very clear “Tua sorella e del vino” (your sister and some wine).  That line makes Rigoletto’s remark much more reasonable.  The change was made by the censor.  Verdi’s words are crossed out in the autograph and the new words are written in.  So Verdi himself led a production with the new words, and everybody has been singing those new words for all these years, but it is our feeling that it is not what Verdi wanted.

BD:    Would this be a case where the stage director would have the Duke grab Maddalena while singing “una stanza” to indicate slyly the original intent?

PG:    She’s not onstage yet, but directors can do all kinds of things like that.  In this case, however, it seems clear to me that there is no reason to do anything but what Verdi originally wrote.  Other cases are more problematic.  The end of Ernani has two texts in the autograph, and one is a great deal more powerful than the other.  It’s the one he originally wrote.  I’ve worked with the autograph and can tell you it’s best described as some half-hearted attempt by Verdi to put in some different words.  They’re not written throughout, just a few hints.  But it’s that half-hearted attempt which ended up in the printed vocal score, and from which the opera was learned.  Ernani was not published in full-score until ours appeared.  We don’t have evidence, but it seems as if the original text was objected to, again, by censors.  It’s the moment when Ernani expects total happiness, but he hears the horn and has to kill himself.  The original text is “È questa per noi miseri, Del cielo la pietà.”  (This is the pity that heaven feels for us poor miserable ones.)  It’s a very powerful line, and has the kind of power that is almost blasphemous.  It is changed to “Non ebbe di noi miseri, Non ebbe il ciel pietà.”  (Heaven had no pity on us poor ones.)  The whole way the line is sung has to be affected by that change in the text.

BD:    Was he perhaps thinking of possible problems with the censors, or do we know?

PG:    We don’t know that.  Censorship or self-censorship is very problematic.  In this case, perhaps the impresario in the theater thought they’d better watch out for trouble, and suggested that it be softened a little.  Verdi was always willing to make some compromises, but not if they changed the basic sense of the story.  His artistic conscience allowed him to go a certain distance in order to get the work performed, so in this case we offered both texts.  In the score, we put the alternative and explained the situation in the introduction, and will let each producer make a choice.  A third case arises in Nabucco.  The entire text of the big chorus at the end was changed.  Verdi’s hand, we believe, simply blotted out the original words.  It took some fancy footwork, but we finally reconstructed the entire version of text, and it is really very powerful.  Not only that, but it makes sense with the music which the revised version doesn’t.  The text we all know goes, “You spread a rainbow, everybody is smiling; You cast a thunderbolt, man is no more.”  The music under the word “smiling” is about as un-smiling as you’ve ever heard.  The original text goes, “Often to your people, you gave tears; But you broke the chains of those who believed in you.”  So the sad music supports the word “tears.”  Is this a censorial change?  We don’t have any evidence.  Nabucco was later considered a very patriotic opera, but it doesn’t seem to have been such immediately.  The fact is we just don’t know the answer, and it’s doubly complicated because when he made these changes in the text and the music, he also made some musical changes that are really improvements.  So to just do the
original version will gain some powerful statements, but also lose some improvements in the score.  So we give both versions and let the producers decide how to present it.  We may put a re-constructed amalgam as an appendix and call it a suggestion, but it cannot go into the full score.  It’s important to always bear in mind these different possibilities, to not presume too much, and to try to understand the history of a problem.  Gradually you come up with a text you can believe in.

BD:    Is there any chance that Verdi is looking at your efforts and thinking he would have made things even more powerful before changing them, knowing that you would put them right eventually?

PG:    When I work with the Rossini operas I often feel he’s sitting over my shoulder, and every once in a while he tells me what he really wants.  Verdi’s scores are generally very beautifully written and very clearly marked.  With care and attention, I think one can come close to resolving most of the problems in a responsible and musically correct way.  We had a wonderful experience with Luisa Miller which was done in Cincinnati under the direction of James Conlon.  He took the operation very seriously and went through the score with the greatest detail.  My colleagues who were there told me he was simply delighted with the opportunity of being able to see exactly what Verdi had written, and commented that corrections made clear problems that had puzzled him all along.  A musician looks at a score and wonders about something, but there is no court of last resort short of going to the autograph.  If the edition doesn’t discuss things and make it all clear, they have no way of knowing if the pages they’re working with are accurate.  I believe in the performer coming face to face with the work.  What I don’t believe in is the performer having to come face to face with something that is not the work, or what he thinks is the work but really isn’t.  I believe in the genius of the composer.  These are people who were very special, and they had something very special to tell us.  That’s why I think critical editions are so important.  They allow us to get that message as closely as we’re ever going to get it.

BD:    Do you view these new scores as the end, or a beginning?  Do you see them as jumping off places for conductors and producers?

PG:    That’s exactly what they are.  When people say they’re performing the
Critical Edition, I say that’s impossible.  We reconstruct Verdi’s scores and try very hard to make clear what we think his intention is.  However, if you ask me what a certain accent mark means, I respond that there are hundreds of ways of performing an accent.  No musicologist can say to a performer that this mark means exactly such-and-so.  Verdi couldn’t have said it.  Every performer breathes differently, holds a bow differently, etc.

BD:    But the fact that there might be two different kinds of marks means that there will be a differentiation.

PG:    Exactly!  It suggests how one should go about thinking about a passage.  These are things that may have been lost in earlier scores, or were put together in ways that made no sense.  In one of the duets in Rigoletto, Verdi uses two kinds of accents
one upright, the other horizontal.  How do you render them?  Muti will do it one way, Levine another, Conlon still another.  The important thing is that it’s there, and that it be clearly marked in ways that allow the performer to make use of that as part of an interpretation of the music.  It’s only by having that kind of detail carefully spelled out that one can really begin to work in that way.  It’s my hope that this is what the Critical Edition allows performers to do.

BD:    Is it safe to assume that Verdi put more markings into his scores than, say, Bellini and Donizetti?

PG:    The only things that those earlier composer left unwritten were the ornamentation, the variations that singers were expected to apply to the music themselves.

BD:    Wasn’t there a more standardized convention of what constituted proper operatic performance in the earlier years?

PG:    Yes and no.  Certainly by the time you get to the later operas of Verdi, the extent of the information he provides is greater because, as you suggest, the range of his demands is more than had been expected in his youth.  But the level of the earlier time is really greater than we often give it credit for.  We have, I think, misunderstood a great deal of the music of the first half of the 19th century of Italian opera.  It is not
singers-opera’, but rather you need good singers to do it.  You can’t do it without singers who are able to do it, but Bellini didn’t think he was writing opera just so the singers could canary.  That’s not what he was doing.  He left us hundreds of letters spelling out in detail what his music was about and the kinds of dramatic things he was after, and the formal things he was dealing with.  It is clear that Bellini was a composer who thought he was doing something original and new, and musically and dramatically significant.  He was, but what we tend to hear are canaries who think that if you warble this stuff, somehow or another you’ve captured the spirit of it.  We’ve had too many terrible performances of bel canto operas by divas who don’t know that these are dramas.  You can argue that the dramatic conventions of Italian romanticism are such that a modern audience may find more difficult than in earlier periods, but even that argument is worth re-examination.  I found that if they are done as singer-operas you end up with people coming out saying, “Isn’t she wonderful?  It’s a pretty dull piece.”  I was delighted a few years ago [1985] here in Chicago when Lyric Opera did I Capuleti e i Montecchi.  It was exactly right.  They understood the piece and took it seriously, and wonder of wonders, with fine singers who did their performances within the context of the work, it worked as a drama.  [The cast included Tatiana Troyanos, Cecilia Gasdia, Dennis O’Neill, and Dimitri Kavrakos, conducted by Donato Renzetti and staged by Giulio Chazalettes.]  And that’s one of the most unlikely of the operas to work because the audience constantly thinks Shakespeare even when they shouldn’t.  It’s based on one of the Italian sources for Shakespeare.

BD:    The conductors and directors must know about all these editions and details, and certainly the singers should learn about the ones in the opera they’re singing.  How much do you expect the public to be aware of all this scholarship?

PG:    In a real sense, the public doesn’t have to know about the details.  The public is there wanting to have a wonderful performance.  I like to think that performers who are working with better materials will give better performances because generally the composer knew better than the people who fixed him up.  Generally, if you have authentic sources, you get musically and dramatically superior readings.  Except for a very few obvious mistakes, I’ve never seen a secondary source that improves on the original.

BD:    How much does this assume that the operas you’re dealing with are masterpieces?

PG:    Since I’m directly involved with operas of Verdi and Rossini, and to a lesser extent those of Bellini and Donizetti, I’m willing to argue that at its proper level, pretty much all of these pieces are masterworks.  These are composers who really knew what they were doing.

BD:    Then when we get used to this kind of scholarship in these works, what happens when there are productions of lesser operas by weaker composers?

PG:    I see what you’re saying and it’s hard to tell.  Certainly if you’re going to perform an opera by, say, Mercadante, it’s good to know what he wrote.  Then, after you really know the piece, producers will take liberties.  They do that with our editions as well.  Our Rossini editions have all of the secco recitative, but we don’t really expect people to perform all of that stuff.  There are occasions when it works, others when it won’t.  Lyric will be doing my edition of Tancredi [which would conclude the 1988-89 season] and I’m working closely with them on it.  [The cast would include Marilyn Horne, Lella Cuberli, Chris Merritt, Kenneth Cox, Sharon Graham, and Robynne Redmon, conducted by Bruno Bartoletti, staged by John Copley, and designed by John Conklin.]  One of the first things I did was to cut about half of the secco recitative.  Rossini wrote all of it – or almost all of it – and I say that because he didn’t write a single note of the recitative in the Barber of Seville, nor of Cenerentola, nor of Italiana in Algeri.  He assigned them done by someone else in the theater, and we don’t know who actually wrote them.  But an American audience today, even with the supertitles, is not going to want to sit through all of those secco recitatives.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:    Let me ask the big philosophical question.  What is the purpose of opera?

PG:    [Feigning mortal injury, and both laugh before returning to the topic]  Opera is an art form on the level of the greatest of art forms, and it affects us as an audience in ways that are close to us at many different levels.  There is the beauty of the music itself, there is the drama which I take very seriously, working within the conventions of the periods.  Without too much trouble, an audience can put itself in different frames of mind in order to be able to accept different messages.  We react to this combination of music and drama in a very special way.

BD:    Do our reactions evolve still to this day?

gossettPG:    Our reactions change.  Remember that for a long time, the public accepted very little except the very latest operas.  The notion that there was a history of maybe 300 years with each period producing masterpieces was inconceivable.  There was no repertory in the sense that we think of it.  Rossini was one of the very first to have his music survive.  Not a lot of it did, but Barber and Cenerentola and William Tell didn’t completely fall out of the repertory the way the operas of Cimarosa and Paisielo and Hasse did.  They disappeared completely.  The
museum situation we have today in opera houses allows us to see the whole history simultaneously.  We have a 17th century opera one night, a 19th century opera the next, and I hope more and more, 20th century operas.  I’m somewhat encouraged by the way audiences respond to some new works.  Whether they are operas I personally love or not is not the point.  What is important is that opera houses continue to make an effort to do the new as well as the old.

BD:    Without citing specific titles, are there works being written lately that are on the level of Rossini and Verdi?

PG:    It’s very difficult to answer that question today.  At the time Rossini was writing, every theater in Italy
major and often minorwas committed to playing two or three new operas every year.  That amounts to an enormous number of works, most of which haven’t survived, and rightly so.

BD:    We shouldn’t dig them up at all?

PG:    We can look at them and see if they’re interesting.  Occasionally we will find one that is.  I know a whole bunch of works from the early 19th century that would be delightful in community or college presentations.  More and more, 18th century operas are being dug up, and we now realize that Vivaldi knew how to write opera, as did Handel!  For a long time, people presumed that they didn’t, but that just meant we had different criteria of a way theater should work.

BD:    What should be the percentage of a year’s repertoire of masterworks, and how many from the next level, and so on?

PG:    Rather than talk about percentage, I would say that a theater should strive to create a balance of different kinds of works.  San Francisco will be opening their season with our edition of Maometto II [with Marilyn Horne, Simone Alaimo, Chris Merritt, and June Anderson, conducted by Alberto Zedda, staged by Sonja Frisell, designed by Nicola Benois, and the prompter was Joseph De Rugeriis], then they’ll do The Rake’s Progress of Stravinsky [with Jerry Hadley, Susan Patterson, William Shimell, and Victoria Vergara, conducted by John Mauceri, staged by John Cox, and designed by David Hockney], and after that Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine. [with Placido Domingo, Shirley Verrett, Justino Diaz, and Joseph Rouleau, conducted by Maurizio Arena, and staged by Lotfi Mansouri]. What a great way to start off.  Later they’ll do some Puccini and Wagner, but think of those first three in one season!  It’s delightful.  We need to keep up this mixture of the known and unknown, the old unknown and the new works as well, never forgetting that there are certain works the public wants to hear over and over again, but rationally.

BD:    What are some of the strains that contribute to making an opera great?

PG:    [Pauses a moment]  I hesitate because different works have different kinds of strengths.  What makes a Mozart work great is different from what makes a Bel Canto work great, or indeed a 20th century work great.  One of the things that I look for, and is crucial to me, is the interaction of the music and the drama.  There has to be a rightness about the mix no matter what the style.  I think the greatest works are those that create characters that we care about, and there are many ways of doing that.  There is also a level of sophistication that exists in the best operas.  It is something that we can come back to again and again and never feel we have completely grasped.  Mozart’s comment in a letter to the effect that a certain work will be loved by the public and also respected by musicians speaks to this idea.  It makes a difference when there are depths to be plumbed.

BD:    Is the judgment of history always right about a work?

PG:    Oh no, absolutely not.  There are many reasons why history can be wrong.  In the case of Rossini, I think history was particularly wrong.

BD:    [Gently protesting]  We never lost sight of the fact that he was a master.

PG:    But we did lose sight of much of his music, particularly his serious music.  I’m not the only one saying this.  Il Viaggio a Rheins got three performances in the 19th century and then disappeared forever as far as anybody knew.  It’s a wonderful work.  A great deal of Maometto II became the Siege of Corinth, but to my mind, Maometto II is a much more interesting work.  He made the new work because it couldn’t stand the way it was.  Italian audiences were not ready for it, and by increasing certain spectacular elements
such as ballets, and taking out some of the more difficult vocal musiche could create a work that would function at the Paris Opera.

BD:    Was he selling out?

PG:    In one sense you could say he was.  He believed in the work so much that he wanted to make it function on some level.  He didn’t have the ego of a Wagner, who was willing to wait around for 30 years until the work would be performed again.  But getting back to historical judgment, in Verdi’s case, with one major exception, history has been pretty right.  I’m delighted that we get to hear more of the works now because there isn’t a single work that doesn’t have something to tell us.  The 19th century wasn’t ready for Don Carlos, and it’s only in the last few years that we’re discovering what a masterpiece that is.  With all the versions, that is a very difficult opera for the edition.  There is no question that it should be done in French, just as Rossini’s Guillaume Tell should only be done in French.  The third one like that is Donizetti’s La Favorite, and that’s being prepared, finally.  These works were composed in French and even though Verdi made an Italian version of some parts, the translation was not by him.  He had to fool around with it because at that time (1868), the idea of doing an opera in French in Italy didn’t exist.  So he had no choice if he wanted his work to be done there.  But everything was translated then
even Wagner.

BD:    Do you believe in opera-in-translation?

PG:    Absolutely.  In our vocal scores, we provide singing translations into English, and some of them are very good.  There are times and places for different kinds of things.  A major international house should do things in the original language, especially with the supertitles now available.

BD:    Will supertitles mean the death of translations?

PG:    I hope not because it’s a different kind of thing.  I adore the conception of St. Louis Opera and Chicago Opera Theater.  They are absolutely right to do opera in English with direct theatrical values front and center.  I hope there is more and more of that.  The translation should make an effort to duplicate the structure of the original.  Every word doesn’t have to be the same, but the shape must agree.  If the line is, “Felicità, felicità, felicità, felicità,” (happiness) I don’t want to hear, “And in my ear, I think it’s right, I’m telling you, I love her so.”  That kind of crap is simply unacceptable.

BD:    [Trying to keep the general idea in the exact meter]  Do you want, “I’m really glad, I’m really glad, I’m really glad, I’m really glad?”

PG:    You need to hold onto the structure.  The music is conceived in that way to work with the repeated text.  People say you don’t understand the words.  Well, you don’t understand every word, but that’s why in Italian opera there is a lot of text repetition.  When Verdi wanted a word to be understood, what he called the
words that counted, you bet he made sure you could understand them.  And the fact is that you can.  If you sit in an opera house, the important words come through.

*     *     *     *     *

BD:    Where is opera going today?

gossettPG:    I think it’s going in wonderful directions.  I’m very positive about the present state and the future of opera.  Some of my friends constantly lament the lack of singers, but they are really complaining they were born too late to hear in-person those voices they grew up with on their 78s.  I don’t lament that at all.  We have wonderful singers today both older and younger.  There are some problems in the way our operatic world is constructed, particularly in the way enormous pressure is put on some singers to fly from one house to the other, and on others to do too much too soon.  But there are many singers who are not allowing that to happen to them and are not leading that kind of life, and there are more different works being performed now than at any time in the last 50 years.  The repertory is probably broader now than it has ever been, and that, to me, is a great, positive sing.  The kind of involvement by stage-directors that we find today is not something to be afraid of.  There can be abuses and things I don’t approve of or don’t like, but the fact that directors are taking opera seriously is something that I treasure.  To have Sir Peter Hall working with Marriage of Figaro and Salome, or Lubimov doing Lulu gave Chicago wonderful experiences.  Ponnelle is also very exciting, and even though I don’t like some things as much as others, I respect his ideas, and we’ve worked together at the Rossini festival in Pesaro.  But he has given so much of his time to opera right along, whereas the others I mentioned work mostly in straight theater.  Peter Sellars gets me mad at times, but one of the things theater can do is get us mad sometimes!  I don’t mind that as long as he’s not a charlatan and directs without thinking about the work at all.  Then I’m not just disappointed, I’m angry, especially when the opera is essentially unknown and can be ruined by a production that doesn’t make any sense.

BD:    Do you think opera works well on audio recordings?

PG:    Recordings have done wonders to make operas known to an enormous public.  I grew up listening to operas on records, but I also grew up standing at the Met, and that combination was wonderful.  In recent years I’ve done less listening and more reading of scores and trying to go to performances.  But the recordings, and now videos, are wonderful tools.  It’s not ideal, but it’s brought opera to so many parts of the country and the world, and to people who have never had the opportunity to go in person.  More people can enjoy a broadcast than have ever heard the piece since it was written.

BD:    Is opera for everyone?

PG:    I can’t answer that in any serious way, so I won’t begin to try.

BD:    OK, then, from another angle...  Where is the balance in opera between the artistic achievement and an entertainment value?

PG:    It clearly always is in a state of flux.  I hope that treating these works with the utmost seriousness and respect and really trying to understand them makes them more entertaining.  Our simple enjoyment of them is increased the more we take them seriously.  If we treat them as trifles, they seem to be just that
trifles.  Attitudes have gone through tremendous changes.  Suddenly the depths of the classic period, for instance, are very real to us.  They weren’t real to every generation.

BD:    Were they real to those who wrote the music?

PG:    Oh yes.

BD:    What advice do you have for someone who wants to write operas today?

PG:    First of all, to know opera, to know as much as they can, to hear and to see, to know theater.  All the great opera composers were people who knew theater.  Verdi went to every play he could get to.  Wagner directed all kinds of operas while he was in Riga, getting to know the theater, what it meant and how it operated.  Being involved is crucial.  The choice of libretto and selecting what to represent is fundamental.  We live in a society in which so many things coexist, that the style a composer chooses to frame the musical ideas doesn’t have to be one thing or another.  One can work in a wide range of stylistic universes, but the important thing is to master the problems of music and text.  Verdi told one of his librettists that they could not make words or music, but they had to make it all.

BD:    Is this idea of an opera house having a composer-in-residence a good one?

PG:    It’s a very good idea.  There should be similar programs everywhere.  The use of workshopping pieces is very important, and I’d like to see much more of it.  But the composers shouldn’t be in the limelight, and the public should not expect that they will produce masterpieces.  They should be able to go about their business, and learn and work with the theater, and produce things and have them performed.  But the expense of mounting an opera behooves managements to look for only great works.  With imagination, an opera can be staged without breaking the company’s budget.

BD:    Thank you for working so hard on all of this material for us.

PG:    I’m very fortunate that I came along at a time when the performers are around who take it seriously and perform it well, and when the publishing houses are interested in these scores... and when Lee Freeman is willing to make it financially feasible to do these editions.

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© 1988 Bruce Duffie

This conversation was recorded in Chicago on June 22, 1988.  Portions were broadcast on WNIB the following October, and again in 1996.  The transcription was made and published in The Opera Journal in September of 1991.  It was slightly re-edited and posted on this website in 2016.

To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.

Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001.  His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.

You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests.  He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago.  You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.