Ruthanne Bessman hosts the WPR program Classics By Request heard every Saturday
from 9am to 1pm on most stations of the NPR News & Classical Music Network
of Wisconsin Public Radio. To send her a musical request, fill out our on-line
Music Request Form.
Ms. Bessman is a graduate of UW-Madison with a bachelor of music
degree in harp performance with Danis Kelley, harpist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
She spent five summers at Tanglewood studying with renowned harp teacher, Lucile Lawrence and
continued her studies with Ms. Lawrence at the Manhattan School Music in the master's program.
In 1983-85, Ms. Bessman moved to Israel to study with Judith Liber, harpist of the Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra. During that time, Bessman performed with the Israel Philharmonic and
conductor Zubin Mehta, toured with the Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra and gave solo recitals.
Ms. Bessman joined Wisconsin Public Radio in 1988 and for five and a
half years produced the national comedy quiz show "Whad'ya Know?" with Michael Feldman. Since
1994 she has been an on-air host and producer of outreach programs for the station. She
currently hosts Classics By Request on Saturday mornings and coordinates Wisconsin Public
Radio's Neale-Silva Concert of Young Musicians.
Bessman's passion is origami, the art of paper folding. She has
studied with the leading paper folders in the United States, Japan, England and France and has
taught extensively at libraries, schools, senior citizen centers and hospitals. Her work has
been displayed throughout the United States and at the Origami World Exhibition in Japan where
she received an award for her origami greeting cards. She and her work have been featured in
newspapers, magazine articles and on local and national television programs.
Instructions on making an Origami Peace Dove