Barker Schwarz said WGY when it began in 1922 “was really at the cutting edge of technology and the caliber of the music being played was of such high quality.” Violinist Edward Rice played a piece called “Romance” by renowned Polish composer Henri Wieniawski during WGY’s first broadcast on February 20th, 1922.
WGY was started and operated by General Electric until GE sold the station in the 1980s. Rice and his string quartet performed regularly on WGY in the station’s early years as did the GE Concert Orchestra.
In an interview on WGY Rice said as he performed for the inaugural broadcast in 1922 he thought the music sounded “dullish” because station engineers deadened the sound. But Rice said he then realized that the performance was not for the handful of people in the studio but was really performed for radio listeners.
You can listen to the podcast here.
Barker Schwarz is the founder of Musicians of Ma’alwyck. The group performed for WGY’s 100th anniversary broadcast this year.
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