Nina Cardona

Music Director / Host

Nina Cardona holds a degree in music history from Converse College. Just two days after graduation, she started playing classical music as a part-time host on Nashville Public Radio.  She was WPLN’s All Things Considered host for eleven years, during which time her reporting focused on arts and culture stories.

Nina is a classically trained singer and open water swimmer who dabbles in photography and a variety of needle crafts.


Ways to Connect

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Space Institute / Wikimedia Commons

Spaceflight was just a theoretical possibility when Gustav Holst wrote his musical exploration of our solar system. 

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

On this week's program, we got the rare treat of hearing a group of musicians try on a new ensemble for size. Matt Davich, who we often hear on saxophone, brought his clarinet to Studio C along with friends Jeff Lisenby (accordian, piano) and Emily Nelson (cello). They played a handful of tunes with echoes of European and South American folk traditions, along with one of opera's greatest hits.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Roger Weismeyer visited Studio C once again to preview his 15th annual Mozart Birthday Concert, a yearly event that brings together performers from various Music City ensembles to celebrate the music of the ultimate classicist. The 2017 edition features a Weismeyer's performance of a piano sonata and a bassoon concerto played by Gil Perel. The shows begin at noon Friday, January 13th at St. George's Episcopal Church and 7pm Monday, January 23 at Edgehill United Methodist, to benefit those churches and the Mary Parrish Center for Victims of Domestic Violence.

Ed Lambert / Nashville Public Radio

Teenagers Nolan and Chloe Harvel are a pair of siblings that share a love of music and a talent for playing. For their visit to Studio C, the Harvels were accompanied by Maeve Brophy, a pianist on the staff at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Nashville harpist and teacher Carol McClure's fine album of Christmas favorites is often heard on Classical 91.1 during December. She brought student Clara Warford in to Studio C to give us a live performance of music spanning this month of holidays and feast days.

The Brass Arts Quintet is a faculty ensemble at a university known for its stellar brass program, Tennessee Tech. The group brought us selections from their annual holiday concert, including several of the members' own arrangements of Christmas classics. Raquel Rodriguez and Chris McCormick play trumpet. Greg Danner is on French horn. The trombonist is Joshua Hauser, and Jesse Chavez plays tuba.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Portara Ensemble will look beyond Christmas in its concert this week, with choral music about Advent and the deep night of Winter. The full program starts at 7pm Friday evening at Brentwood's Church of the Good Shepherd, and again at 7pm Saturday night at Christ the King Church in Nashville. Artistic director Jason Shelton, pianist Horacio Guendulain and a portion of the choir gave us a taste of the music to come in Studio C.

Set List:

traditional chant: Veni, Veni Emmanuel

15th century carol: Nova! Nova!

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Last year around this time, violinist Jessica Blackwell told her friend, violist and composer Christopher Farrell, that she'd really like him to write a violin solo. What's more, she challenged him to move beyond the chamber music he'd written to date and compose a piece for orchestra. The end result gets its world premiere December 6 at a performance of the Nashville Philharmonic. Farrell and Blackwell, plus pianist Megan Gale, gave us a sneak peek by playing a reduced version of the Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

The Belmont Brass Quintet from Belmont University brought a cornucopia of music for our Thanksgiving listening, ranging from a Baroque air and Renaissance dance to familiar hymns of gratitude and a playful contemporary composition. The ensemble is made up of trumpeters Joel Treybig and Patrick Kunkee, hornist Radu Rusu, trombonist Jeff Phillips and James Land on tuba.

Nina Cardona / Nashville Public Radio

Jennifer Kummer and Anna Spina are both Chicago natives who work in Nashville as French horn players for hire: they play orchestral concerts, in the pit at opera productions, and as studio musicians. Between gigs, they've prepared a group of duet pieces for the instrument just for our Live in Studio C audience.