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Who topped KUSC’s Classical Top 100 Countdown?

The station announces SoCal’s favorites pieces, as picked by listeners in a first-ever survey

Make way for Beethoven. (Portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven by Josef Karl Stieler)

Beethoven it is! Classical KUSC listeners voted Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, also known as “the Choral,” as their favorite piece of classical music in the station’s first Classical Top 100 Countdown.

Rich Capparela, host of the 4 to 6 p.m. weekday program, made the announcement on April 29, ending a week when a listener favorite was played on the station each daytime hour.

Calling the Beethoven symphony an optimistic choice, Capparela said the piece “gives light when all else is darkness.”

Number two in Southern California’s biggest classical music survey was Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was third.

Beethoven did quite well in the voting, with four of his pieces making it into the top 10.

Rounding out the top 10 were works by Bach (Brandenburg Concertos), Vivaldi (“The Four Seasons”), Rachmaninoff (Piano Concerto No. 2) and Rimsky-Korsakov (“Scheherazade”).

Bill Lueth, vice president of USC Radio and KUSC, said more than 3,000 voters made their choices known — not surprising for the station with the largest classical radio audience in America. He pointed out that the hometown industry, Hollywood, was represented by two movie themes — John Williams’ theme from Star Wars at number 40 and Howard Shore’s theme from Lord of the Rings at number 84.

Listeners voted in early April, choosing from a long list of classical pieces on the website and could write in votes if their favorites weren’t on the list.

Classical KUSC, a listener-supported station that has been broadcasting for more than 60 years as a service of
 the university, is heard at 91.5 FM in Los Angeles and Santa Clarita, 88.5 in Palm Springs, 91.1 in Thousand Oaks, 93.7 in Santa Barbara and 99.7 in Morro Bay/San Luis Obispo.

It is live-streamed at, attracting listeners around the world. The free updated KUSC app for mobile devices is available at the iTunes store.

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Who topped KUSC’s Classical Top 100 Countdown?

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