American Public Media Announces John Birge the New Host for YourClassical’s Composers Datebook

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 17, 2019 – American Public Media (APM) has announced a new host for YourClassical’s Composers Datebook, the award-winning program about this day in classical music history. On May 1, retiring and long-time host John Zech will officially pass the baton to a well-known name at Classical Minnesota Public Radio, John Birge.

Birge is currently the morning drive host of Classical MPR and starts up the Mozart for classical music lovers who need a civilized wake-up call to go along with their morning coffee. He will continue to host Classical Music weekday mornings. He has been hosting, producing and performing classical music for more than 20 years. Presently, he is also heard on APM holiday specials including Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food and Gratitude and Welcome Christmas!

The decision to host another program at APM was an easy one for Birge.

Composers Datebook is the best time machine on the radio,” Birge said. “I am honored to take the microphone, and I’m especially looking forward to adding new destinations and discoveries in the future.”

Composers Datebook informs, engages and entertains audiences with relevant information about past and present composers. Each episode delivers momentous musical events and relevant pieces of classical musical history for that day. The music is only one part of the program; listeners will also be captured by the fascinating back stories of composers and the history of classical music, bringing classical music to new generations of fans everywhere.

YourClassical is a collection of curated streams, unique programs and relevant features to promote calm and focus. Composers Datebook is produced by APM in association with the American Composers Forum (ACF). Initial support for the program was made possible by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The creator of the series and its principal writer is John Michel of ACF.

Listen and subscribe to YourClassical Composers Datebook here. Radio broadcast listeners can check their local public radio station’s schedule to see if the program is available for daily listening in their area.


About American Public Media
American Public Media® is the national programming division of Minnesota Public Radio® and reaches 20 million listeners via approximately 1,000 radio stations nationwide each week. APM is one of the largest producers and distributors of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio that includes BBC World Service, Marketplace®, and the leading classical music programs in the nation. APM offers a diverse array of podcasts featuring the best in food, culture, entertainment, business and investigative journalism. For more information on APM, visit

Source: Data are copyright Nielsen Audio, Nationwide DMA data, Persons 12+, Fall ‘18. Data are estimates only.