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Ted Askew

Ted's Bio

Some people learn to love radio, and some people find their home in it right from the start. Ted Askew has been a fan of broadcast and radio since his first show at Western Washington University’s KUGS FM when he was still in high school. A Bellingham, WA native, Ted has spent his life letting the music do the talking. After graduation he joined a band playing keyboard during the formative Seattle music scene of the 1980’s before taking his inaugural announcing job at KZAZ FM, Bellingham’s first classical public radio station.

In the mid-1990’s Ted returned to his roots at Western Washington University when he became the Station Manager for KUGS FM, helping guide students through their own first experiences in radio. He then went on to announce classical music for Northwest Public Radio in Pullman, WA; Colorado Public Radio; Aspen Public Radio; and Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul. As part of the Classical Public Radio Network and American Public Media’s Classical 24, Ted’s work has been heard in both large metro and smaller rural markets nationwide.

Over the years, Ted has had the pleasure of interviewing many classical artists, including Neville Marriner, Leon Fleischer, Gil Shaham, Joseph Kalichstein, Sarah Chang, David Zinman, James Conlon, Osmo Vanska, Robert Spano, David Finckel and Wu Han, Sharon Isbin, Christopher Rouse, James MacMillan, Pepe Romero, and many others.

When he’s not hosting Bach’s Lunch, you can find Ted reading (and adding to his large, eclectic library), traveling (he’s partial to London), taking in the theatre, and spending time with his “insane” cats (Ted remains an unapologetically proud cat dad, despite the insanity).

Q&A with Ted

KING: Let’s say you have a free day to spend somewhere beautiful. Are you heading to the beach or the mountains? In the Pacific Northwest, of course, we have easy access to both.

Ted: I’ve lived within a mile or two of some kind of beach or coastline for most of my life, so, the mountains would be better for me. BUT… please zap me to a concert hall or theater in the middle of London or Manhattan before beach or mountains!

KING: Favorite type of food?

Ted: Isn’t it obvious? Pasta. And please pass the bread.

KING: It’s game night! Are you hoping for a board/tabletop game, a video game, or a sporting event?

Ted: I’m a big baseball fan, especially the Mariners. I was at their first-ever game at the Kingdome in 1977 and have been a huge fan ever since.

KING: Beatles or Rolling Stones? (Or Bach or Beethoven?)

Ted: Sorry to go off the board again but… The Kinks and Brahms.

KING: What music might people be surprised to learn you listen to — when you’re not listening to KING, that is?

Ted: I love soul and gospel music nearly as much as classical. I hosted a soul music show at my college station (KUGS-FM @ WWU) for years. My favorites are Otis Redding, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Aretha Franklin, James Carr, Sam Cooke, and Nina Simone.

KING: What classical composers, living or dead, haven’t gotten their fair dose of attention — which composers aren’t “household names” but should be?

Ted: More people should know the music of Bohuslav Martinu. Also, Lili Boulanger, Frank Bridge, and Gerald Finzi should be better known.

KING: If your classical music collection was entirely vinyl records, which of those records would be nearly worn-out from being played dozens of times? In other words, what music do you come back to, over and over again?

Ted: Beethoven Symphony no. 6 (arranged by Liszt and played by Glenn Gould), Edward Elgar’s Violin Concerto (with soloist Yehudi Menuhin and Elgar conducting), Stevie Wonder’s “Talking Book.”

KING: What pieces of music do you turn to when you need comfort, solace, or relaxation?

Ted: “Song of the Birds” by Pablo Casals, “You Send Me” by Aretha Franklin, and Brahms’ Piano Trio, Op. 8.

KING: Let’s say you’re hosting a musical dinner party or cocktail party, and you can invite three composers or performers, living or dead. Whom do you invite?

Ted: Laurie Anderson, Maria Callas, Leonard Cohen.


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