When Caitriona Bolster announced last spring that she was leaving Eugene’s classical music radio KWAX, a lot of people — myself included — wondered how on earth the station would ever replace that sultry, mellifluous voice.
I think KWAX found a way.
Her replacement will be none other than Peter van de Graaff, known to classical music fans around the United States as the soothing voice of the late-night syndicated “Through the Night With Peter van de Graaff,” carried on scores of radio stations. To give you perspective, in case you’re not a fan of late-night classical music radio, the first person I mentioned this to said, “THE Peter van de Graaff?”
He will start here at KWAX as music director and morning host sometime in 2016, according to a modest announcement on the station’s website. He will continue to host the Beethoven Satellite Network, which carries his late-night show, from here.
Van de Graaff, who lives in Chicago and is based at WFMT there, will move to Eugene with his wife, Kathleen. Both are concert singers; he’s a bass-baritone and she is a soprano. He has performed with orchestras and opera companies around the world, including the Czech Philharmonic, numerous symphony orchestras in the United States, and such opera companies as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Opera, Rochester Opera and Chicago Opera Theater.
His on-air voice is authoritative and soothing.
“I’m thrilled that he has decided to move to Eugene,” Bolster said in an email this evening. “Since he and his wife are also very accomplished singers, they will both be a great addition to the community.”
I’ve reached out to him for an interview, and will write more when I’ve talked with him.