Contact Kathryn at:

Bach's Lunch on WMHT-FM Radio

My love of classical music has roots with my mom and dad. I heard this music a lot as a child growing up. I found it very serene and calming. In particular this past ten years or so, I have found I’m drawn to baroque and chamber music.

High energy runs in my family. Mom is, my older sister Debbie is and my eldest sister, now sadly gone, Linda, was also. She was probably the mellowest of us all. I’ve had to mellow out and slow down with my MS, and classical music centers me so I can deal with not being able to jump up and do whatever I want.

As I often say today, nothing else would have stopped me in my tracks the way MS did. I remember my Dad's waning days at the Cleveland Clinic listening to Itzhak Perlman as he was soloing on the violin with an orchestra in the background. Dad was conducting with his knife and fork as he listened to the music on tape.

The reason I bring this up is I’ve become an avid listener of WMHT-FM radio, in particular their program called Bach's Lunch. It is an hour of baroque and early music hosted by Chris Wienk from noon until 1 p.m. on weekdays in New York State's Capital District on 89.1, and in the mid-Hudson River Valley on 88.7.

You can also listen to the streaming audio online at

One of my fondest and most cherished memories was when my friend Sunny Brown took me to see Perlman at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. This was back in the mid 1990s and I was still walking with a cane. The thing is, Perlman is also handicapped, walking with two canes called Canadian Crutches due to having had polio. So when I asked if I could go back stage to meet him and tell him about my father's dying days listening to his music, Perlman graciously granted me an audience.

I would like to say I asked him some great questions and we had a great discussion, but in fact I told him about my Dad's dying days and was too emotional to say much else.

Perlman patted my shoulder and said, “It's ok. I understand.” And I think he really did.

So, whenever I hear violin music as beautiful as that played on Bach's Lunch, I think back on my Dad, my time with Perlman and a peace comes over me.

I hope you get to listen in and find the same wonder and peace that I do.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site