Bachelor's degree, journalism and mass communications and minor in music, University of Northern Colorado.

Professional background:

Monika Vischer has been with Colorado Public Radio for more than two decades, starting as  a music host and news reporter in 1990 and serving as program director of CPR Classical since 2013. Prior to coming to CPR, she worked for KUNC. She is co-founder and board chair of El Sistema Colorado, a non-profit serving low-income children through ensemble music. 

Monika grew up studying flute and at age 13 joined the Denver Young Artists Orchestra, then under Music Director Charles Ansbacher. As a student at the University of Northern Colorado, she played under Kenneth Singleton in the university's wind ensemble and sang in the Grammy Award-nominated vocal jazz sextet The Axidentals, headlining clinics and festivals in the U.S. and Canada. 

Monika won a Silver World Medal from the New York Festivals Awards for the day-long special, "Sound of America," and the National Clarion Award for her five-part radio documentary series, "A Voice for the Silenced: Re-discovering Music Lost in the Holocaust," co-hosted by LA Opera Music Director James Conlon.

In her own words ...

How I got into classical radio:
As a music student at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, a couple of my friends worked for KUNC (which belonged to the university at the time). I was in the hunt for a student job, saw there was an opening, so went for it. When I interviewed, I knew how to say Aram Khachaturian, so I got the job!

Best moment in radio/classical music:
Co-hosting with conductor James Conlon, a 5-part documentary series titled "A Voice for the Silenced: Rediscovering Music Lost in the Holocaust." This award-winning radio production was broadcast nationally. The project was deeply gratifying and enlightening. Judging from feedback, it also touched a chord with listeners unlike anything else I've produced.

Favorite composer and favorite piece:
It is cruel to ask this question. The beauty is that I don't have to decide.  With feet to fire I say Beethoven. He fully understood the gift he was destined to give this world and says as much in each of his greatest works. As for a favorite piece?  At the moment?  Ottorino Respighi's "Pines of Rome" for its sonic brilliance, ingenious use of orchestra, depth and fabulous melodies. It's simply "the whole package."

Funniest comment from a listener:
"You say that's called the "Taco Bell Canon?" ~ a listener calling to ask what I played just after airing the famous Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel.