Remembering radio host Robert J. Lurtsema

Robert J. Lurtsema, composer and host of Morning pro musica on Boston radio WGBH from 1971-2000, died on this day fifteen years ago. His early morning classical music program began with five minutes of bird songs. Then, rising like the sun, the first measures of Handel’s  Arrival of the Queen of Sheba would be heard along with the birds. Then, out of that song-filled, supremely-serenaded, light-washed meadow of sound came Robert J’s bullfrog voice.

He read the news with long moments of silence between sentences and stories, like the natural, untimed pauses between a frog’s calls or a bird’s songs. Casual, confident, unpretentious, Robert J. Lurtsema listened to the world and helped his listeners learn new things along with him while we were still in our pajamas.

3 thoughts on “Remembering radio host Robert J. Lurtsema

  1. I feel cheated that I didn’t wake up to such an alarm. Once my grandmother gave me a really old musical alarm clock. The music was soft and bittersweet and I loved it. Funny what you lose as a kid. No idea what happened to it.


  2. That was wonderful! A local public radio station has a short 30 second bird thing in the morning, but nothing like this! I wonder if station managers today would be afraid of short attention spans.


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