Frank Dominguez

The Genesis of Concíerto

Frank Dominguez

Frank Dominguez, WDAV General Manager and Content Director, Host, Concíerto

When Hispanic Heritage Month ends in mid-October, it will coincide with an important milestone for me: the 5th anniversary of the debut of my bilingual classical music program Concierto.

Back then I had been working at WDAV for sixteen years, and had never thought of producing such a program. It was our general manager at the time, Ben Roe, who asked me if I was bilingual, and whether I could produce a classical music program in Spanish. My response was, “Sure… but why?”

Ben explained the potential he saw in such a program to attract a new audience based on the demographic trends evident in the region and the country. I set about the task, and the result has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my career.

Even though the idea had evaded me, I knew that classical music was loved by many Hispanics and had always been an important part of their cultures. My parents, who immigrated to this country in 1948 with the equivalent of a grade school education, did not know much about classical music. But they knew enough to tune the radio to WQXR in New York where I grew up, and soon realized how drawn I was to the music as a child.

I also had working class relatives who listened to classical music, like my older cousin Frankie who had a bust of Beethoven in his bedroom. And we had neighbors who were passionate about the music like Domingo, who was a doorman on the Upper East Side, but never failed to buy season tickets to the Metropolitan Opera.

On Concierto we alternate classical music by Spanish and Latin American composers with more familiar fare from the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, but performed by Hispanic and Latino musicians and ensembles. In this way we demonstrate the deep roots classical music has in Spanish-speaking countries. The bilingual presentation adds an element of authenticity, and hopefully announces to newcomers that they are welcome.

Now five years later Concierto is heard on about 35 stations nationwide, ranging from San Juan, Puerto Rico to the San Fernando Valley in California. The feedback we get from listeners is overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Spanish speakers are delighted to hear their cultures represented in a different and positive way, while English speakers are pleased to discover appealing repertory and artists unfamiliar to them.

I would never have imagined it when I started working at WDAV, but I sure am glad.


Listen to Concierto on Sunday evenings at 10:00 p.m. on WDAV Classical Public Radio.

Are you in the Charlotte area? Tune into 89.9FM Classical Public Radio.
Prefer to stream? Listen live at or on Apple and Android apps.

WDAV Gets into Holiday Spirit

The holiday season is a great time to be a part of WDAV, whether you’re on the staff like me or you’re a listener and supporter. First, there’s the wonderful seasonal music. As usual, we will increase the holiday selections as we get deeper into December, and let the holiday feeling linger a little longer by continuing to play Christmas music until the 31st.

There are wonderful special programs we look forward to every year, some of which we produce ourselves. This year we continue our collaboration with St. John’s Baptist Church for another live broadcast of Charlotte Lessons and Carols from St. John’s at noon on December 7th, which we’ll repeat twice more later in the month. Our special guests this year are the choral group Renaissance led by Robert Pritchard and the Wingate University Singers under the direction of Kenney Potter, plus the Ballantyne Brass Quintet. I hope you’ll plan to join us either in the warmth of the St. John’s sanctuary or on the radio.

Many international listener favorites are returning as well, including live broadcasts from King’s College in Cambridge, England and the perennially popular New Year’s Day concert from Vienna.

It all makes for a festive way to bring the year to an end, and to reflect on what we’ve been able to accomplish, and what we have in store for the New Year: on air, online and out in the community.

None of it is possible without the support of devoted listeners who become members. So in the spirit of gratitude and optimism that is so appropriate at this time of year, we say thanks to you, and invite you to continue the musical journey with us on into the New Year.

Wishing you all the warmth of the season,

Frank Dominguez
Interim General Manager

***Make sure you check out for details on our upcoming Holiday Programming


WDAV has Olympic Fever

With the Summer Olympic Games starting Friday, the world will be focused on London as athletes from across the world compete for medals in sports from rugby to table tennis. WDAV is turning our focus to the British capital, too. Join us from Friday, July 27 to August 12 for a festival of English music and performers!

The Line Up

FRIDAY: The Opening Ceremonies

  • Our festivities kick off Friday morning with Matt Rogers as he plays each of the Olympic Themes written by composer and conductor John Williams – one per hour of Matt’s program.
  • At noon, Matt brings you the Mozart Café featuring – what else? – Haydn’s “London” Symphony as the main course, plus recipes from Charlotte’s Big Ben Pub.
  • At 5pm, Fred Child hosts Beethoven’s Ninth: Live from London, a special concert to kick off both the BBC Proms – the world’s largest classical music festival – and the London Olympic Games. The broadcast begins with a music-rich pre-game, which includes highlights of the BBC Proms as well as colorful comments from Daniel Barenboim, Olympic athletes, and London locals. Then hear conductor Daniel Barenboim lead the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Beethoven’s last and greatest symphony.

JULY 28-AUGUST 12: The Games

Hear a feast of music by English soloists, conductors and orchestras, and works by composers ranging from William Byrd, John Dowland and Henry Purcell to Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten and William Walton.

  • Each weekday at 2pm you can hear a different English Artist Spotlight. We’ll feature a recording by English classical musicians such as pianist Stephen Hough, conductor John Eliot Gardiner, and trumpeter Alison Balsom.
  • Enjoy a different complete symphonic work by an English composer each weeknight on the Symphony @ 7.

It’s a “jolly good show” chock full of English classics from July 27 through August 12.

And keep checking our blog for more Olympic surprises!

-Frank Dominguez
Program Director

Frank Dominguez is Finalist for Radio Personality of the Year

Posted March 9, 2012 – Radio Ink magazine has announced that WDAV’s Frank Dominguez is a finalist for two National Hispanic Radio Awards — Radio Personality of the Year and Programmer of the Year — for his work as producer and host of Concierto. Finalists will be judged and winners will be presented with the prestigious Medallas de Cortez at a ceremony during the Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference on March 21st in San Diego.

Frank Dominguez

“I’m humbled by the nominations – and shocked!” notes Dominguez, who launched the weekly show in October 2010. “The conference later this month will give me a great opportunity to meet other finalists, learn from their experiences and strengthen our young show.” Concierto, produced by WDAV Classical Public Radio, is America’s first nationally distributed bilingual (Spanish-English) classical music program that calls special attention to the contributions to the art form by Latin-American and Spanish composers and performers. It has received generous support from the WDAV Listen Live Fund, as well as the Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Concierto can be heard Saturdays at 10 p.m. on WDAV 89.9, and online 24 hours a day at The 24-hour stream is also available via any Android, iPhone, or iPad device equipped with the “WDAV Classical Public Radio” app.

“Hispanic radio is an important part of the overall radio industry and is often overshadowed by mainstream radio,” said Deborah Parenti, Executive Vice President/Radio of Radio Ink. “These awards are designed to give recognition to those who have contributed to elevate the overall reputation, professionalism, and image of Hispanic radio.”

The Medallas de Cortez awards were created by Radio Ink magazine to recognize outstanding achievements and leadership in the Hispanic radio marketplace. They were named after Raoul Cortez, a pioneer in Hispanic radio in America; his image appears on the medal presented to winners. Radio Ink solicited nominations from the industry, then determined finalists based on specific criteria for the selection of nominees.

About WDAV Classical Public Radio

WDAV Classical Public Radio is one of America’s leading producers of original classical-music programming. In addition to producing 156 hours per week for its own broadcast use on 89.9FM, HD-1, HD-2, and channels, the station produces nationally-distributed programs, including World of Opera, Concierto, SummerStages, and, in partnership with ETV Radio of South Carolina, Carolina Live. A service of Davidson College in Davidson, NC, WDAV’s  mission is to make classical music accessible to everyone. The station’s 89.9FM signal reaches a 22-county region centered in the Charlotte, NC metro area and ranging from Rock Hill, SC to Galax, VA. WDAV’s broadcasts can also be heard live online 24 hours a day at and iTunes, as well as on any Android, iPhone, or iPad device equipped with the “WDAV Classical Public Radio” app, or the “TuneIn,” “NPR Music” or “Public Radio Player” apps.


WDAV to Broadcast Christ Church Cathedral Choir Concert Mar 29

Christ Church Cathedral Choir of Oxford, England, begins its 2011 USA/Canada concert tour with first-ever appearances in the Carolinas. On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, the choir performs at Charlotte’s Covenant Presbyterian Church, and WDAV Classical Public Radio will be on-hand to present a live broadcast, beginning at 7 p.m. The next evening, Christ Church Cathedral Choir performs at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, NC. From recordings of these two Charlotte-area concerts, WDAV will produce an Eastertide choral program, to be made available to public radio stations across the country. You can find out more about it at our Eastertide with Christ Church Cathedral Choir page.


Your First Classical Love

What was your first classical love – that first piece of music that “lit your fire” for classical music? Several WDAV staffers share their funny-wacky-touching classical love stories below. Take a listen, and then let us know YOUR first classical love using this form – or by posting your story on the WDAV Facebook page!


Piedmont Opera Stars Chat With Frank Dominguez

WDAV Program Director Frank Dominguez traveled to Winston-Salem this week to chat with the stars of Piedmont Opera’s upcoming production of Puccini’s Turandot. Soprano Carter Scott and tenor Jose Luis Duval give Frank – and you – an insider’s view!
>> Listen to the interview
>> See Piedmont Opera’s production of Turandot