Fred Calland, a 'Founding Voice' of NPR

Fred Calland

Fred Calland's personal papers are housed at The University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries, which provided his biography. hide caption

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Fred Calland was a record collector, teacher and broadcaster with a long professional background in radio music programming, and a national reputation as an opera expert. He entertained NPR listeners from its inception in 1970 with many of the most popular music shows broadcast by the system.

A native of Ohio, Calland began collecting records as a teenager. He served in Germany during World War II.

After graduating from Ohio State University in 1949, he taught German and worked as the music director for radio stations WSCU-FM in Columbus and WFCR-FM in Amherst, Mass. At WFCR he inaugurated a daily three-hour program called Fred Calland Presents, which included everything from classical to bluegrass.

In 1970, Calland joined NPR as its only music producer. His personal collection often served as the principal resource for recorded music broadcasts. He hosted many live events including the first performances of new musical works.

In 1989, Calland retired from NPR as a senior producer. He then served as an occasional commentator on NPR and continued to host his World of Opera program on WETA-FM for several years.

Calland also taught opera appreciation at American and George Mason universities. His musical interests and knowledge were wide ranging, but his particular love was for opera and classical vocal music. He was witty, articulate, and opinionated, but without any hint of condescension towards his listeners. He attracted a large circle of friends with his conviviality, hearty sense of humor, and passionate love of music.

Calland served as President of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections and Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter in 1988-89. He was also a noted quilt designer and quilt maker, and a member of the board of the Quilters Hall of Fame.

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