Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and music, University of Colorado Boulder
Brad Turner joined Colorado Public Radio in 2013 as the first digital producer for CPR Classical. Currently, he manages the direction of digital content production for CPR Classical and OpenAir and oversees music arts content development for CPR News.
Brad's career has spanned more than a decade, including work as a reporter, editor and public relations professional. Brad came to CPR after managing communications and voter outreach for the Boulder County Elections Division. Prior to that, Brad was the editor at New West, a website covering the Rocky Mountains, and also spent a year working for Pivot Communication as an account executive.
Brad spent six years as a reporter and editor for the Longmont Times-Call, covering politics and environmental and outdoors issues. As an editor, he worked to expand the paper’s digital offerings, helping to launch an arts blog, parenting blog and other online-only content.
While much of his career has focused on communications, Brad always had an interest in telling stories about music, the Colorado classical music community and trends in classical music, include emerging artists, which is what led him to CPR.
Q & A
How did you become interested in music?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love music. My family always had music on in the house. I started playing the double bass in third grade — basically as soon as the music teacher at school would let me begin taking lessons. I picked up the bass guitar when I was 10 and must have learned hundreds of songs over the next few years. I played in rock bands, jazz combos and orchestras.
I didn’t get truly excited about classical music until I was studying double bass in college and taking a lot of music history classes. I gravitated toward modern composers and eventually changed my focus from the bass to computer composition. There’s a collection called “Ohm: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music” that made a huge impression on me. I loved hearing what composers like Messiaen and Varese did when they weren’t writing for traditional instruments, and it was amazing to see how early synthesizers and tape pieces paved the way for so much music in so many genres over the past 50 years.
How did you get into radio?
I never worked in radio before coming to CPR. But I’ve been a reporter and editor, and worked in the marketing department at the Colorado Music Festival. It was an unorthodox path to landing a job at a public radio station but I think a lot of the employees at CPR have unusual resumes. It’s part of what makes this such an interesting place to work.
How did you end up at CPR?
I love Colorado Public Radio and I’d often find myself listening to a great piece of music or a particularly good Colorado Matters interview and wondering if I’d missed my calling by never getting into radio. I saw a job posting for a digital producer at CPR Classical and decided to pursue it. It seemed like a long shot but I knew I’d kick myself if I didn’t go after it. I applied and, to my eternal surprise, they called me back. I had some fun discussions with Monika Vischer about using the website to tell great stories about classical music and expand CPR Classical’s local coverage. I’m thrilled to be part of the staff.
Favorite composer and piece?
I never get tired of Philip Glass’ score for "Koyaanisqatsi." I love the pulsing rhythms and the way it lurches between eerie, unsettling moments and really manic and exciting passages. I especially like listening to it when I’m going on a long bike ride or road trip. It has a way of making a moment in my life seem a little more vivid.