Jonathan Sessler is a longtime member of the Masters Circle. He is the R. P. Doherty, Jr. -Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin and Director of the Center for Supramolecular Chemistry and Catalysis at Shanghai University. In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Sessler is co-founder of Pharmacyclics, Inc. and Cible, Inc.
How long have you been a KMFA member?
I became a KMFA member shortly after moving to Austin in 1984. I was delighted to find lovely, advertisement-free classical music on the radio; I knew I had to support it!
Why do you choose to support classical music in Austin?
I love the station and the music. If I don't do my share, KMFA might not survive.
What is your favorite program to listen to on KMFA?
Metropolitan Opera when it is on. Day in and day out Rideshare and By Request rank at the top, while Icons of Broadway is a Saturday favorite. When overseas (a frequent occurrence) and offset time-wise from Austin, hearing Workbench is a special treat.
What is one of your all-time favorite pieces of music, composers, or performers, and why?
I can probably live on a diet of pure opera. Puccini is a favorite. The end of Act 2 of Tosca is particularly powerful and the final scenes of Madame Butterfly can't be beat when one needs tears to flow. But, I am also a sucker for classic violin concertos; the more schmaltz the better.
All time best-ever performances? Seeing Luciano Pavarotti and Montserrat Caballé perform Turandot at the San Francisco Opera in the late 1970s with Prince Charles in attendance and hearing Isaac Stern play the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto live at about the same time will always stand out, as will the recent performance of Bernstein's Mass in Austin.