Bill Battista

Bill Battista is well known to many WMNR listeners who have been following his broadcasts since 1983. He is quiet, laid back and perfectly suited to the solitude of early Sunday morning classics.

Bill brings an early background in music and a European heritage to his broadcasts. His father, whose parents were from Avalino, near Naples, Italy, married a lady from England, who introduced her son Bill to classical music. Although he gave up piano lessons in adolescence, he never gave up his keen interest in and exploration of the great composers and their music. He refers to himself as "a closet yuppie," being an avid reader and somewhat self-educated. In his youth he chose the encyclopedia as reading material.

Bill has been employed by SNET/SBC/AT&T since 1977 and came to WMNR searching for an outlet for his love of music and an opportunity to share it. Since then he has had formal training in broadcasting. He is a graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and holds a Certificate of Broadcasting from New York University, in addition to a B.S. in Business Management from Teikyo-Post University.

A large part of Bill's personal record collection reflects his particular interest in organ music. His preferences diverge from the traditional to a wide variety of styles, particularly contemporary and lesser-known composers. Bill says his goals in programming are to enlighten listeners by playing music from all eras and all corners of history. His message: "Music is knowledge!"


His Programs

Bill Batista of Sunday Morning Classics comes to the studio “with an idea in my mind of what I might like to play either from my collection or from the WMNR library ‘on the fly.’”  Bill tells us he avoids anything too atonal or harsh given the early weekend morning time slot.  He makes an effort to “get away from the mainstream” and focus on lesser known composers who are favorites of his such as Cecil Burleigh, Arthur Foote, George Frederick McKay, Walter Piston and Leo Sowerby.  Bill’s appreciation is not limited to American composers; he “loves” Debussy and also mentions Fauré, Saint-Saëns and Widor as those he likes to work into his airtime. 

When organizing recordings for his programs, Bill likes to feature performances that show what a composer “can do”, paraphrasing a quote attributed to Mozart; “I get paid for what I do, not what I can do.”  Bill’s knowledge of these composers and their works is encyclopedic and greatly informs his program selections which you can enjoy every Sunday from 6:00 to 9:00 am.


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