Theodore Kuchar conducted the Fresno Philharmonic from 2001 to 2016. Photo via Fresno Phil Facebook page, by Ron Webb

published on May 26, 2022 - 12:30 PM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

The war in Ukraine came close to home for KMJ 580 AM listeners Wednesday during an interview with former Fresno Philharmonic Conductor Theodore Kuchar.

Kuchar, esteemed strings player and conductor, spent 15 years as conductor of the Fresno Philharmonic, presiding over his final Fresno concert in 2016. He grew up in Cleveland’s Ukrainian community and now resides in Ukraine. 

Hear the audio:


From his home in Lviv, Ukraine, Kuchar joined KMJ’s Ray Appleton for an interview that was interrupted by air-raid sirens.

“I wish I could bring you closer to the window – the alarms are going full force right now, sirens on the street. It means the rockets are flying,” Kuchar said, adding that the sound is a regular occurrence.

His home was not hit.

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