Detroit – Karl Haas, who brought classical music to millions of listeners through his syndicated radio program, “Adventures in Good Music,” has died. He was 91.
Haas died Sunday at a hospital in Royal Oak, according to WCLV-FM in Cleveland, which produced his program.
“Adventures in Good Music,” an hour-long program in which Haas blended music and talk aimed at casual listeners, was syndicated to hundreds of stations in the United States, Australia, Mexico and Panama and was broadcast by Armed Forces Radio.
Haas delighted listeners with his vast musical knowledge and his penchant for punny program titles, such as “The Joy of Sax” and “Baroque and in Debt.”
A farmer once told Haas he listened to the show every day on his tractor, WCLV President Robert Conrad said.
When he would give a lecture or concert, Haas would often pause after walking out on stage and say, “Well, I’ve often wondered what you look like, too,” Conrad said.
“He had a wicked sense of humor.”
Haas stopped doing new shows two years ago, but the program still airs in reruns on about 100 stations in the United States and Australia, Conrad said.
Among the honors he received were two George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Humanities Charles Frankel Award in 1991. In 1997, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and Museum in Chicago.
A pianist, conductor and musicologist, Haas settled in Detroit after fleeing Nazi Germany in 1936. He taught piano and founded the Chamber Music Society of Detroit in 1944.
Haas began doing radio commentary in the 1950s, and “Adventures in Good Music” debuted in 1959 on WJR-AM. In 1970, WCLV began producing it and distributing it more widely.
Haas also served as president of the Interlochen Academy of Arts in Interlochen, Mich., from 1967 to 1971.