For immediate release
September 20, 1999

Takes on New Role As Senior Commentator

WASHINGTON, DC - Martin Goldsmith, the host of National Public Radio's® daily classical music magazine, Performance Today®, will step down from his full-time host duties effective October 15. Goldsmith will continue as a veteran presence on the seven-day-a-week, Peabody Award-winning program in his new role as senior commentator. Goldsmith's decision was prompted by his desire for more time and increased flexibility as he completes a book about his parents' extraordinary lives as musicians in Nazi Germany.

"Martin is one of the signal voices in the classical music world," said Kevin Klose, President and CEO of NPR. "For ten years he's enriched the lives of millions of listeners and we are grateful for his efforts."

"Hosting Performance Today has been a real privilege for me," says Goldsmith. "On a daily basis I've spoken with the world's most gifted musicians and brought the experience of concert performances to many people who otherwise wouldn't have access to live music-making. Over the years the program has become a real success. I'm glad to have been a part of that as host, but I'm also looking forward to stepping into my new role as senior commentator - continuing to be an active participant in the musical life of this country."

Goldsmith joined NPR's Performance Today as music producer in 1987 and became host in 1989. During Goldsmith's tenure, the program's audience has grown to 1.5 million listeners per week - and from 40 member stations to more than 230. His guests on the program make up classical music's "who's who," including violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, conductor Georg Solti, soprano Joan Sutherland, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, tenor Placido Domingo, and pianist Van Cliburn. Goldsmith's 1998 interview with the late Robert Shaw has been included with the conductor's final recording, the Stabat Mater by Antonin Dvorak, newly out on the Telarc label. Earlier this year Goldsmith was honored when NPR's Performance Today received a 1998 George Foster Peabody Award.

"Martin has brought tremendous talents, skills, and enthusiasm to Performance Today and has been a vital part of its success," said Murray Horwitz, Vice President of NPR Cultural Programming. "While we will miss his daily presence on the air, we are very pleased that Martin will continue to contribute his passion and experience to the program."

NPR's Performance Today is making plans for a number of exciting events during the coming season, including an Oktoberfest celebration featuring the Berlin Philharmonic, the premiere of a new classical piece by Paul McCartney, special coverage of New Year's Eve, and a studio residency by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Performance Today will issue its sixth compact disc, Christmas Around the Country, Volume Two on the NPR Classics label this fall.

The search for a new host will begin immediately. In the meantime, regular guest host Lisa Simeone will host the program.

NPR's Performance Today takes listeners to concert halls all around the world, complementing the performances with the latest music news and informed commentary. The program spotlights established and emerging artists and the world's great orchestras. NPR's Performance Today airs daily for two hours, on more than 230 public radio stations.

National Public Radio, a membership organization of 608 public radio stations across America, is radio's leading provider of high-quality news, information and cultural programming. NPR is the producer and distributor of such noted programs as Morning Edition®, All Things Considered®, Jazz Profiles®, and Car Talk®.