Festival Friday Radio is a weekly blog series showcasing Spoleto Festival USA’s 2017 visiting artists. Each Friday, tune in for these hand-selected playlists that highlight a musician’s top 10 tracks—or get exclusive, artist-curated lists that reflect their own listening preferences.

When you hear “chamber music” what comes to mind? If it’s anything less than brilliantly crafted programs performed by spectacularly skilled musicians with unmatched staged chemistry, you’d be mistaken. In 2009, after three remarkable decades, Charles Wadsworth stepped down as director of the Bank of America Chamber Series and Geoff Nuttall—one of the founders of the St. Lawrence String Quartet—took his place. His mission is to make chamber music approachable and irresistibly entertaining; imagine listening to classics by Haydn and Verdi or the contemporary work of Mark Applebaum in a room full of enthusiastic audience members at the historic Dock Street Theater. The New York Times has called Nuttall “the Jon Stewart of Chamber Music” because of his wit and energy on stage, not only as emcee but as a performing violinist—CLICK HERE for information and tickets.

Since planning all 11 programs of the renowned chamber music series can get pretty intense; we wanted to know what he listens to for enjoyment when he finds some time off. His list is reminiscent of the same blend of contemporary and modern music that you are likely to find at the Festival’s chamber music concerts. Tune in below to hear nine selections from his 10 favorite albums—the albums are listed below the playlist. And stay tuned for the full Bank of America Chamber Music series program details—they’ll be announced next week!

Blood on the Tracks, by Bob Dylan
Le nozze di Figaro, composed by Mozart, conducted by Erich Kleiber
Sketches of Spain, by Miles Davis
Haydn: The London Symphonies, conducted by Frans Brüggen
La traviata, composed by Giuseppe Verdi, conducted by Carlos Kleiber
Warren Zevon, by Warren Zevon
The Very Best Operatic Duets, performed by Jussi Björling and Robert Merrill
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor, composed by Gaetano Donizetti, conducted by Von Karajan, sung by Maria Callas
Golijov: St. Mark Passion, by Osvaldo Golijov

Photo (at top) by Julia Lynn Photography