SPOTLIGHT ON EYSO ALUMNI KRISTINA LYNN
Brass Choir & Youth Symphony trumpet alumna Kristina Lynn only played in EYSO for two years, but “at the risk of sounding hyperbolic,” she says, “it really was life-changing. I had thought about going into music, but I wasn’t totally sure. Having that experience of playing in a full orchestra, with a bunch of other really serious musicians, playing this music I had never played before, really set me on the path” toward a professional music career. Fast-forward one decade: Kristina recently made her on-air hosting debut at WFMT,
Chicago’s classical radio, where she also works as a production assistant preparing station programming for the airwaves.
One of Kristina’s favorite EYSO memories is performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Midori in the fall of 2008—her very first EYSO concert. “Being on that stage was amazing. I’m getting chills just thinking about it,” she says. The following season, bass-baritone (and WFMT host) Peter van de Graaff joined the Youth Symphony for a performance of Brahms’ German Requiem,
and Kristina credits that collaboration for sparking her interest in radio. “Seeing Peter with a full-time job at the radio station, being a radio host as well as being a performer at such a high level, I thought, ‘maybe I could make that happen.’” After one year of community college, Kristina transferred to DePaul University to complete her degree in trumpet performance and continue exploring the radio-hosting path.
As a production assistant, Kristina listens to hours and hours of classical music each week to “make sure it’s in tip-top shape” before being shared with other stations in the WFMT network. As she gains more experience as a host—an opportunity, she’s quick to note, she wasn’t expecting to receive at age 29, considering the scarcity of classical radio airtime—she hopes to become a relatable voice on the air, breaking down the stereotype that classical music is “for snobby people only.” When introducing new listeners to the genre, Kristina recommends compilation albums: “something like ‘Greatest Hits of Tchaikovsky’…that’s what got me into classical music when I was younger, and I have memories of playing that type of CD in the car and looking out the window while we were driving. I think those CDs can be a really great place to start.” As for her own favorite music, she confesses, “It’s still true that all of my favorite pieces are ones that I played with EYSO.”
Congratulations, Kristina, and we hope to hear you on the air for many years to come!
- Article written by Membership Coordinator and Music Librarian Emily Krasinski