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For immediate release
September 21, 2000
Laura Gross, NPR
202-414-2304
lgross@npr.org

NPR SELECTS NEW HOSTS OF PERFORMANCE TODAY
Fred Child to Host Weekdays and Korva Coleman to Host Weekends

Washington, DC - Performance Today® (PT), NPR's® daily classical music program, welcomes Fred Child, former radio host and producer at NPR member station WNYC Radio New York, to anchor the program Monday-Friday. Child, 37, brings extensive knowledge of classical music to PT and a strong, real-world sense of the music's significance in contemporary American culture. Korva Coleman, veteran newscaster for NPR News, will bring an enthusiastic, familiar voice to PT on Saturdays and Sundays. Coleman, 37, and Child will begin hosting in late October 2000.

For 15 years, PT has represented the vibrance and vitality of classical music in American culture. These hosts will continue the PT tradition, while strengthening the show's appeal to a wider range of listeners. PT showcases live concerts by world-renowned classical musicians, allowing listeners to experience the finest solo, chamber and symphonic works - not on CD, but in richly textured live performances recorded for broadcast. The daily two-hour program engages the audience's intelligence with interviews and in-depth commentary by nationally known music experts, helping listeners learn more about this energetic art form and enjoy first-hand the creativity of the classical music world.

"Amid all the doom and gloom about classical music, PT and its audience of 1.5 million stand apart as a major success," said Murray Horwitz, NPR's vice president for cultural programming. "Like all NPR programming, PT combines integrity and friendliness. Fred and Korva bring freshness, credibility and spirit to that enterprise, and we're lucky to have them join us."

Child comes to PT from his position as director of cultural programming at WNYC Radio New York and is a guest columnist for Billboard Magazine, commenting on classical music. At WNYC since 1993, Child has also served as music director, host and producer of the daily performance and interview program Around New York. He also was morning drive host for Sony's Classical SW Network. Child is a native Oregonian and for ten years was a host, announcer, producer and programmer for Oregon Public Broadcasting Radio. Child enjoys playing the piano, guitar and bagpipes in his spare time.

"I am thrilled at the opportunity to explore classical music's power, beauty and depth with a national community of listeners and creating a one-on-one, personal relationship with them," said Child about his new position. "Music is a language that creates a shared emotional experience to a depth that spoken language does not often reach. I am eager to make classical music accessible and meaningful to a wide range of listeners, connoisseurs and novices."

In addition to her new post with PT, Coleman will continue to write, produce and deliver national newscasts during NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered®, Morning Edition® with Bob Edwards and Weekend Edition®. Before joining NPR in March 1990, Coleman was a staff reporter and copy editor for the Washington Afro-American newspaper, and she produced and hosted First Edition, an overnight news program at NPR member station WAMU-FM in Washington, DC. Coleman is originally from Arizona, where she worked as news and public affairs directors as well as a music announcer for commercial stations in Phoenix and Tucson. Coleman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in 1989 and studied law at Georgetown University Law Center from 1989 to 1990.

Coleman explains, "I've long enjoyed PT, both as a classical music enthusiast and as a radio professional. As host, I hope to draw new listeners to the program and to continue PT's tradition of giving listeners their dose of the music and musicmakers that make up classical music today."

Funding for PT is provided by The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Funds, Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Geraldine C. and Emory M. Ford Foundation, Steinway and Sons and Schimmel Piano Company.

Renowned for its journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, NPR reaches a growing audience of nearly 15 million Americans each week via more than 644 public radio stations. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwidesm, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.