Jennifer Miller Hammel

Weekdays 6AM – 9AM

Saturdays 7AM – 10am

Host of The Opera Show Sundays 9PM – 10PM

With a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Music degree, Jennifer Miller Hammel moved to Los Angeles to become an opera singer and landed a starring role behind the mic on KUSC and KDFC. She has been performing professionally as a vocalist, recording artist, and pianist for nearly 20 years, with career highlights that include Gounod’s Faust (as Marguerite), Ragtime (as Mother), soprano soloist in Carmina Burana, Poulenc’s Gloria, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, plus various productions in the ensembles of the Princeton Opera Festival, Pacific Opera Project, Opera Santa Barbara, and Long Beach Opera. It’s not a huge secret, but Jennifer happens to be an avid gamer. When it comes to classical music, Jennifer wants listeners to know how much we can all learn from the life experience of the people behind the music.

Alan Chapman

Weekdays 9AM – 12PM

Modern Times Saturdays 10PM – 12AM

Musical Offering Sundays 9AM – 11AM

Alan Chapman has had a multifaceted career in music – from being a college music professor and popular pre-concert lecturer, to roles on the radio and on the performance stage. With a PHD in music theory from Yale, his impressive resume carries into a smattering of powerful performances (including his own original songs, as well as the Great American Songbook), with appearances at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and Lincoln Center. In 1992, Alan joined the staff of KUSC and has been getting your workday off on the right note in Southern California for many years. In the last decade, Alan developed the Music 101 series for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which is still going strong at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, attracting many new eyes and ears. His entire family is musical and the four of them performed as the Von Chaps on a 19-concert tour in China.

Dianne Nicolini

Weekdays 10AM – 3PM

Saturdays 1PM – 5PM

Dianne was the first female full-time announcer on KXTR in Kansas City, on KKHI in San Francisco, and on KDFC. She was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2016, and had a day named after her in San Francisco back in 2005. After growing up in Oakland, Dianne pursued a BA in Dramatic Art at UC Berkeley. She then went for an MA in Theater at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Dianne has kept midday listeners company on KDFC (since 1994) and KUSC (since 2014). If you ask her, the best part of her job is her incredible colleagues! The one thing she wishes everyone knew about classical music is that you don’t need to know anything about classical music to enjoy it!

Brian Lauritzen

Weekdays 3PM – 8PM

A Joyful Noise Sundays 7AM – 9AM

Brian is the KUSC host who gets listeners home in LA traffic each afternoon. He also created the At Home series during the earliest stages of the pandemic, and hosts the LA Phil radio broadcasts and A Joyful Noise Sunday mornings on KUSC and KDFC. Brian is a popular pre-concert lecturer in Southern California — between the LA Phil, LA Opera, The Wallis, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, and beyond. He has received multiple LA Press Club awards for arts journalism, and is a passionate advocate for underrepresented & marginalized groups and individuals within classical music.

Lara Downes

Weekdays 8PM – Midnight

Resident Artist

Lara Downes is a sought-after performer, Billboard Chart-topping recording artist, producer, arts advocate, and the host of Evening Music weekdays from 8PM to midnight on KUSC and KDFC. As a pianist and radio host, she gets inspiration from rethinking classical legacies and excavating the life of classical music in America. In addition to Evening Music, she hosts specials, streams, and videos series, like Amplify, for Classical California.

John Van Driel

Classical California All Night Wednesdays – Fridays 12AM- 6AM

Classical California All Night Saturdays 12AM- 7AM

In John’s long radio career, he’s been an on-air host, arts editor, VP of Programming & Operations, and even a station manager. He’s produced and conducted thousands of interviews, and over 500 live to air studio performances from Lang Lang to Sondra Radvanovsky to Tafelmusik. In his previous life, he was VP of Programming for Toronto’s commercial classical music station, now he programs much of the music you hear on-air and online and hosts several overnight show. The one thing John wishes everyone knew about classical music is that because the genre is so vast and varied, there really is something for everyone.

Rich Capparela

Classical California All Night Mondays – Tuesdays 12AM- 6AM

In 1972 an employment counselor asked Rich Capparela, “If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?” Without hesitation, he replied, “A classical music radio announcer!” Rich first became a KUSC host in 1980, and has returned to KUSC many times between working at the Southern California classical radio stations KMZT-FM and KFAC-FM. Since 1995 Capparela has hosted live radio broadcast concerts by the Pacific Symphony. In December of 2001 as part of Los Angeles Music Week, Capparela was honored in the chamber by the Los Angeles City Council for his contributions to the city’s music community. In 2002 Capparela provided program notes for the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet’s Grammy-nominated album LAGQ: Latin. He is active as a lead singer and guitarist with a three-piece cover rock band, Otherwise Normal. Rich and his wife Marcia, a private school administrator, live in Santa Monica, California.

Suraj Partha

Classical California Host and Content Creator

Classical California All Night Sundays 12AM – 7AM

Suraj studied drums with jazz legend Peter Erskine at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he wrote a play for his senior recital and realized the power of telling stories about music. Suraj has also acted alongside the likes of Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, and Sir Ben Kingsley in the movie Ender’s Game. He appeared in an episode of the Emmy Award-winning Netflix show Master of None. One thing he wishes everyone knew about classical music is that it doesn’t have to sound “pretty.” Classical music can sound one or all of the following: elegant, crass, grandiose, intimate, freaky, serene, and punk.

Brisa Siegel

Classical California Host and Content Creator

Host and content creator Brisa Siegel uses her voice to encourage music lovers to connect more deeply to themselves and their experiences by sharing classical music. Brisa is a bilingual multimedia producer known for her work at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Wendy Williams Show, CNN, BET, Homes For Our Troops, and now Classical California! Brisa owes her love of classical music and storytelling to her dynamic bicultural family of composers, conductors, dancers, and trailblazers. She is LA-based, but her East Coast roots will always run strong.

Rik Malone

Supervisor of Music Programming

Rik supervises the music programming that reaches over 800,000 people each week, including people who never thought they would ever like classical music. He joined KDFC in 1997 as a host and a music programmer. He expanded his programming duties to KUSC in 2011. He has hosted the radio broadcasts of the San Francisco Symphony for over 2 decades. He is a trained violist and is completely comfortable with so-called viola jokes. The one thing he wishes everyone knew about classical music is that it really is wicked cool. Yes, he’s a Boston Red Sox fan.