James Arey

Classical Music Host

James served as Classical Music Host and Music Director for WWNO from 1999-2007. He relocated to Atlanta with several WWNO staff members after Katrina, and, in 2007, he accepted a position as Music Director at KVNO in Omaha, Nebraska, where he coached young announcers, programmed, and hosted classical music until 2010.

He studied composition at Loyola University, and studied voice with Giorgio Tozzi and Klara Barlow at Indiana University.

Active as a composer, James has been honored with recent commissions from the Episcopal Archdiocese of NY/NJ. He has also written for New Orleans Musica da Camera's Thais St. Julien and harpist Catherine Anderson.

James's artwork is on view at Ariodante Gallery here in New Orleans; he was featured in their December 2015 show.

In his free time, James is known around the WWNO studios and offices as a baker, with a specialty for pies and cheesecakes. As a former five-time champion on "Jeopardy!", James has also coached several local contestants before their TV appearances. He was also featured in a recent video clue, providing the official "salute" from the film The Three Amigos.

Ways to Connect

Here at Classical 104.9 FM, we really enjoy being able to broadcast the newest releases from the current generations of classical music superstars... But, as our music library continues to grow, we’re often discovering CDs that were released over the past few years that we missed out on obtaining the first time around.

Classical 104.9 turns ONE this weekend!

Yes, January 27th marks the official First Birthday for Classical 104.9 here in New Orleans.

As the city of New Orleans gets ready to welcome another Carnival season, Classical 104.9 FM has some parade-themed pieces perfect for your "krewe".

Listen FRIDAY, January 5th at 9am for a full hour of music to get you ready for the parades! 

Along with our live-hosted music, we've created a Spotify playlist, full of carnival pieces and New Orleans favorites.

This year, WWNO and Classical 104.9 share an awesome schedule of holiday programs! Music and stories to inspire and entertain, including the festival of nine lessons and carols from Cambridge England, and the New Year's Day concert from Vienna. Happy Holidays!

The wait is finally over... a brand-new season of live, Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts from The Metropolitan Opera begins at Noon on Saturday, December 2nd. A complete performance of Verdi's sweeping "Requiem" begins this new season, with favorites including Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and Lehar's "The Merry Widow" airing in December.

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The season of Autumn arrives in New Orleans — officially — at 3:02pm on September 22. And, as we get ready for the crunching of leaves, the wearing of sweaters, and the carving of pumpkins, Classical 104.9 FM is musically ready, with a selection of “seasonal” gems to accompany the cooler temperatures! 

Here at Classical 104.9 FM, we really enjoy being able to broadcast the newest releases from the current generation of classical music superstars: Joshua Bell, Murray Perahia, Hilary Hahn, Mischa Maisky and Dawn Upshaw, to name just a few.

But, as our music library continues to grow, we’re often discovering CDs that were released in the past 5-10 years that we missed out on obtaining the first time around.

And, while these amazing recordings aren’t the newest-of-the-new, we’re still thrilled to be able to get them into our library AND on the air.

John Adams at 70

Jul 24, 2017

The influential American composer John Adams turned 70 earlier this year.

As a student, I had the pleasure of meeting Adams when he was teaching at Harvard in the 1980s; I was also lucky enough to get to see his opera "Nixon in China" staged twice -- once in Houston, and once at Indiana University.

Ninth Symphonies

Jul 17, 2017

Ludwig van Beethoven, famously, wrote nine symphonies. But, so did many other well-known composers – some, like Alan Hovhaness and Joseph Haydn, wrote over 100!

Below, we’ve put together a short list of excerpts from famous – and not-so-famous – 9th symphonies… Enjoy!

Undoubtedly the best-known 9th symphony yet written, here’s the finale (the 4th movement) from Beethoven’s 9th symphony, with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, chorus, and soloists:

Now that July is here, the staff at Classical 104.9 FM has put together 7 Summer-themed pieces of classical music to keep you company as the mercury – and the humidity – begin to rise…

All of these recordings are in our Classical 104.9 FM library, and can be heard on-air throughout the summer…