Blue Ridge Public Radio classical music host Chip Kaufmann will retire later this year, after nearly 36 years of service to the station.
Kaufmann started as a volunteer with the then 10-watt WUNF (on the UNC Asheville campus) in the summer of 1983. His career as a classical music host happened purely by happenstance, when station staff found out he had a classical music collection.
“I came to Asheville to help start a dinner theater, not to be on public radio. The theater folded after 2 years but the public radio gig didn’t. Announcing was the ideal opportunity to combine my love of classical music with performance art. What started as a lark turned into a 35 year career.”
BPR’s Program Director, Barbara Sayer, has worked with Kaufmann throughout his tenure, “Chip’s contributions to the success of Blue Ridge Public Radio are enormous. Chip has been a source of continuity, inspiration and wit. Along with his considerable talents as a classical music host, Chip has always been willing to pitch in for fundraising, for locating arcane information and for being a reliable and fun colleague and friend. We are forever grateful for his generosity and endurance.”
Kaufmann has seen the station grow through all of its iterations, serving as a key fixture for music fans in Western North Carolina. He says it’s the listeners he will miss the most, “It’s always a delight to hear from listeners. What’s a musical discovery for one listener may be an old favorite to another; I’ve loved offering context and perspective to the pieces we play.”
Kaufmann retires May 31st.
Visit the Blue Ridge Public Radio website for additional information.