Gene Schiller

Music Director, Classical Music Host

Gene Schiller joined HPR in September, 1993 as a board operator. His first break came when he was asked to fill in for Music Director Alan Bunin. Six months later, he became the new host of Evening Concert, a program that runs on HPR-2 from 6 to 8 p.m. on weeknights.

In 1996, Gene was invited to take over the Sunday morning classical program, Sunday Brunch, which at the time was scheduled from 10 to noon. "About three years later, I turned it into a request program," he recalls, "and soon after that it was expanded to run from 9 to noon, still in the request format."

Gene, who continues on Sunday Brunch, now hosts Morning Cafe and Morning Concert every morning from 8:00 a.m. to noon. All three are regularly scheduled local classical programs heard on HPR-2.

Gene was named HPR's Music Director in 2001.

He was born in Los Angeles, and his family moved to Hawaiʻi in 1959 just as he entered the third grade. He's lived here ever since, attending St. Louis and then Kaimuki High School. Gene has been in radio for 18 years. He originally joined KORL as a host for a big band show. "I come from a family of musicians," he recalls, "and I am the only member who isn't a musician, doesn't read music or play an instrument - but I've always been a good listener."

Ways to Connect

Organist Cameron Carpenter and conductor Marcelo Lehninger stop by the station for an informal chat with Morning Café’s Gene Schiller…

Morning Café presents Jonathon Korth, president of the Honolulu Chamber Music Series, with a preview of the upcoming season…

Michael Titterton reveals the “secret” location of tonight’s ‘pop-up’ concert with the Hawaii Symphony, and discusses exciting plans for the future on Gene Schiller’s Morning Café.

World-renowned pianist Philippe Bianconi, in town for the Schumann Piano Concerto, discusses French styling v.s. playing with power!

Performance Today’s Fred Child and Young Artist in Residence Blake Pouliot join Gene Schiller to discuss the challenge of an “artist’s life,” as well as Blake’s upcoming visit to Maui. 

Conductor Leonard Slatkin and violinist Elina Vahala, two superstars making their local debut with the Hawaii Symphony, join morning café’s Gene Schiller for a lively discussion.

Iggy Jang, on his way to the Big Island for a concert with the Kamuela Philharmonic, stops off at the studio for a chat with Morning Café’s Gene Schiller.

In town for a pair of concerts this weekend with the Hawaii Symphony, conductor Keith Lockhart (of the Boston Pops) and violinist Robert McDuffie stop by for an informal chat on Gene Schiller’s Morning Café.

This Sunday’s concert with the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra features some exciting local talent.  Gene Schiller speaks with music director, Brian Dollinger.

This Sunday marks the 51st Anniversary Xmas Concert of the Honolulu Chorale.  Ian Capps and choral director Karol Nowicki talk it up on morning café.


Conductor Carl St. Clair speaks of Prokofiev, while guitarist Jeff Peterson demonstrates slack-key as opposed to other techniques.  Both appear this Sunday with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.

David Shifrin, in town for a concert with the Hawaii Youth Symphony, weighs in on his favorite subject: the clarinet.  Randy Wong, Executive Director of the Hawaii Youth Symphony joins in.

Early Music Hawaii presents “Music of Three Faiths” this weekend at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu and the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Kailua-Kona.  Ian Capps of “The Early Muse” and the Peabody Consort’s Brian Kay discuss the merging of musical styles from this unique period in history.

Versatile conductor Joseph Swensen covers a broad range of topics, from Beethoven and Sibelius, to the effect of music on the “developing brain.”

Pianist Stephen Hough joins Gene Schiller on Morning Cafe to talk about his upcoming novel along with playing Beethoven's Appassionata which he'll be performing during his travels around Hawaii. 

HSO Artistic Director JoAnn Falletta and Composer Anders Paulsson  were in the studio this morning to talk about their upcoming performance with the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra featuring a new work by Paulsson titled "Kumulipo Reflections."

HSO's Mark Votapek

Feb 1, 2017

Gene Schiller interviews HSO Cellist Mark Votapek for an upcoming concert featuring the Brahms Violin and Cello Concerto in A minor

Andre Previn's Opera A Streetcar Named Desire, based on the famous play of the same name is being performed on January 27, 29, and 31st, 2017 at the NBC Concert Hall By Hawaii Opera Theatre. HPR's Gene Schiller sat down with singers from the HOT performance to talk about the opera.