The History of Jim Svejda
Jim Svejda is celebrating his 40th year at KUSC. Every weeknight, loyal listeners join him from 7 p.m. to midnight to hear his engaging musical choices and commentary. Jim is also host and producer of the syndicated radio series The Record Shelf which is carried by public radio stations in the U.S. and is heard on KUSC on Sunday evenings from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Jim was born in Michigan in 1947. He is a trained musician and earned a Master’s degree in English from Syracuse University. His early career was spent at WONO in Syracuse, New York; WCRB in Boston, Massachusetts and with Public Broadcasting Associates in Berkeley, California. Luckily for KUSC and our listeners, he found his way to KUSC in 1978 where he started as Executive Producer. And the rest is history.
While Jim is one of the most respected, critical voices in the classical music field, he also is one of the most entertaining and popular program hosts on public radio.
The Classical KUSC weeknight program and The Record Shelf feature items such as interviews with classical music notables, surveys of different classical recordings, critical looks at recently released recordings and rare historical recordings of great performers of the past. Jim has been praised for his articulate commentaries on his programs. He is appreciated by many for his frank and subjective opinions. In his published Record Shelf Guide, Jim himself describes the book as “an irreverent, selective and highly opinionated recordings guide of the best classical CDs.”
For the past 40 years, Jim has delighted Classical KUSC listeners with his witty, meticulously crafted commentaries on diverse composers, conductors and artists as well as a wide range of other subjects that attract his musical fancy.
Jim Svejda: Between the Notes
Jim Svejda: Between the Notes was chosen as one of a handful of shorts featured during the LA Shorts International Film Festival. The film celebrates Svejda’s 40th anniversary with KUSC and also recognizes his status as one of the most knowledgeable classical music hosts in the country.
Directed by Daniel Zucker, with a cast including renowned concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, composer Thomas Newman and film director Nicholas Meyer, the short documentary highlights what Svejda has done for the classical music world during his time at KUSC. The station’s former president, Brenda Barnes, commissioned the film to commemorate Svejda’s 40-year milestone.
“As the largest and most listened to classical public radio station in the country, we have a mission to make classical music and the arts an important part of people’s lives,” said Judy McAlpine, current president of the USC Radio Group. “Jim has been an integral part of that mission and for the past forty years has been a mainstay on KUSC and in classical music.”