WXXI Loses a Good Friend
By Norm Silverstein ~ Posted Mon, 03/17/2014 - 9:25am
WXXI, the community and classical music recently lost a good friend. On Sunday, March 9, retired Classical 91.5 host Mordecai Lipshutz passed away at the age of 64 following a long illness. His soothing voice, incredible knowledge of classical music, and his music selections made him everyone’s favorite afternoon drive home companion.
Mordecai joined Classical 91.5 in 1976 as a part-time announcer and became a full-time host in 1979. During his distinguished tenure, he produced and hosted Live from Hochstein, including the annual Cup of Good Cheer concert, where he put on a Santa hat, and called himself “Morde-Claus” while reading “The Night Before the Sixth Day Of Chanukah.” He was the voice of Classical 91.5 on Christmas Eve, keeping listeners company into the wee hours of the morning as they wrapped presents and prepared for Christmas morning. And, on New Year’s Eve he presented his annual broadcast, “A Night of Smiles,” where he was nicknamed the “Waltz King” because of the many Strauss waltzes he played that evening.
He retired from Classical 91.5 in 2008, but remained active in the music scene, attending RPO concerts and participating in the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest’s late night jam sessions.
During a celebration of Mordecai’s 25th anniversary at WXXI he said, “I am very proud to have served the community through Classical 91.5 for so many years. This station is more important to our community now than it ever was. Our classical music is heard by more people of all ages, particularly young people, and it has had a considerable effect on the level of culture in Rochester.” And our friend Mordecai Lipshutz had a great deal to do with that. He will be greatly missed.