Brian falbo

Please share a little about yourself!

I was born in Austin and grew up in San Antonio. I have resided in central Texas almost the whole time, aside from my college years and a few years growing up while my dad was in the Air Force.  I love the outdoors and really appreciate animals, wildlife, and starry skies. I am fortunate to have a strong network of friends and family and I try to make myself reasonably entertaining and relevant to everyone in that network. I’m always open to new adventures except for things like skydiving.  

As for work, I am an attorney practicing in the tech sector and I have been fortunate to meet many inspiring friends, practitioners, and mentors in government, law, academia, the arts. I love the Austin community. I maintain a few active interests including golf, hiking, photography, gardening, diving, chess and running. I also have recently resumed piano studies with an inspiring and encouraging teacher. I admit that the piano study is slow going but I find that it is really worthwhile.    

How long have you been a KMFA member and how did you start listening?

I started listening to classical music when I took piano lessons at 9 or 10 years old. My sister and I took lessons from a kind and enriching teacher named Leo Lightner, who proudly traced his musical credentials back to Carl Czerny. Leo was a great influence. I neither displayed nor felt any particular talent but he was very encouraging and helped me recognize in myself an immediate passion for the music.  

After my first couple of lessons, I scoured my parent’s albums and among the (awesome) Leo Sayer and Kris Kristofferson records, I found three classical recordings: Bach’s Brandenburg concerti, Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and Rudolph Serkin’s performance of “three great sonatas."  I took to them all, and in my first-ever visit to the record shop, I bought a cassette tape of Haydn string quartets and an album that included R. Serkin’s performance of Beethoven’s Sonata no. 24, which remains one of my favorite pieces of music. 

At around that time, Leonard Bernstein was hosting a music education series on PBS featuring all of Beethoven’s symphonies. I recorded and watched all of them several times. My mother bought me a cassette collection of Bach solo keyboard works, which I played while doing homework. An uncle gave me a copy of Bergman’s production of "The Magic Flute,"which I still treasure because the English translation is actually a libretto (which really helps in memorizing the entire work). That is how I was introduced to opera. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my grandmother made a point to buy me a good quality car audio system so that I could have a good audio experience while driving. The system was soon stolen, but that is another story. While I was in high school, my father chided me for driving around with classical music blaring instead of contemporary music. But I wasn’t embarrassed at all, and I realized at that moment that classical music was a real passion for me.  

As for how long I listened to KMFA, I first listened to the fine classical radio KPAC in San Antonio. Once I moved to Austin I sought out the classical station here. I really appreciated the attention to detail that KMFA provided and the high degree of curation for the programming, and I have listened daily ever since. I have been a member since my budget allowed, which I think might have been around 1998, maybe earlier.

What are your favorite programs to listen to on KMFA?

What makes KMFA special is that it has so many great programs offering not only fantastic music, but also knowledgeable presenters who provide insights into the music, the composers and historical context. I listen most regularly to "Midday Oasis" and "Rideshare" and I really appreciate the holistic programming and attention to the music that all of the hosts and presenters provide. If I have to have a favorite, it might be Jeffrey Blair and his moderation of "KMFA by Request," probably because I am more relaxed at that time, and often cooking dinner.   

What is one of your all-time favorite pieces of music and why?

The Eroica Symphony has probably been the most influential on me. It made me aware of the intellectual and emotional power that music could have, and it made me want to explore more. So, if I had to name a favorite, that would be it.

Why do you choose to support KMFA?

Sara, Dianne, Jeffrey, Anthony, Carla and the entire staff provide astute and enriching guidance to the wonderful programming. Everyone does a fantastic job to create something really special.  After having listened to commercial classical stations in other markets, I really appreciate playing entire works described by knowledgeable persons.  

I find that KMFA provides daily exposure to something I find enriching. The station has introduced me to great music and to stories I would not have otherwise found. I think it is important that a resource like KMFA be available as potential inspiration and enjoyment to anyone in the Austin community and, as KMFA moves online, to a more global audience as well. I’m happy to be able to listen even while abroad. I think it is an important undertaking by the KMFA team, and I think it is important that KMFA remain non-commercial, and community supported. So I want to do my part to help make sure KMFA thrives, and that it is appreciated.  

I also think the new KMFA home is fantastic and an important investment and look forwarding to visiting again soon!