When I was living in Savannah, I often listened to Terrance McKnight on Georgia Public Broadcasting based in Atlanta. His show was called “Studio GPB” and it featured everything from Atlanta Symphony Orchestra broadcasts to live recordings from the Savannah Music Festival to acoustically perfect recitals at Spivey Hall in suburban ATL.

Far from your basic track playing punctuated by information about the composer’s date of birth, country of origin and so on, McKnight offered listeners a range of fare accented by his boundless interest about the innovative and unexpected in the world of old and new music.

Now McKnight, a native of Cleveland and a classically trained pianist, has moved on to public radio in New York, a much deserved promotion for someone as intellectually curious as McKnight. Starting tomorrow night, he’ll be hosting a show called “Evening Music” on WNYC from 8-10 p.m. He will report on the city’s cultural scene, blending newsy material, concert picks, recordings from the WNYC archives and interviews with musicians, critics and arts administrators.

You can listen to McKnight’s show online (or via iTunes) at www.wnyc.org. According to this report in The New York Times, McKnight’s hiring is part of the public radio station’s effort to engage audiences with more than just music (which is what all progressive forward-thinking media are doing in their respective avenues):

Part of the strategy is to program more festivals like the recent Berlin Without Walls. What was missing from the station, Ms. Tomer said, “was a big personality, a kind of a Virgil character who can hold your hand and say, ‘Let me lead you into some territories that will move you, music that you think you know that you may not really know or not really understand, classical music that in its time was radical and avant-garde but now isn’t part of the canon.’ ”

Mr. McKnight, she said, “seemed to me to embody curiosity, openness, inclusiveness and fearlessness and a certain expansiveness and a lot of humor.”

Mr. McKnight, who until December taught music appreciation and theory and applied piano at his undergraduate alma mater, the historically black, all-male Morehouse College in Atlanta, said he will seek to emulate the intimate conversations that his new colleague, Brian Lehrer, has with listeners. “There was no distance,” he said of Mr. Lehrer’s morning talk show.

Full story . . .

(Photo above courtesy of The New York Times)