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

Composer Jon Magnussen and oboist Scott Janusch discuss “Na Kau Elua” (Two Seasons) – a special commission of the Hawaiian Oboe Legacy Project, set to premiere this weekend at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Conductor Emmanuel Plasson drops in on Morning Café to discuss Puccini’s “Tosca” along with future plans for Hawaii Opera Theater.

Augustin Hadelich, who’ll be performing with the Hawaii Symphony this weekend,  ponders  the subtle beauties of Beethoven’s one and only violin concerto.

World-acclaimed baritone Matthias Goerne pays a visit to morning café to discuss music’s greatest song cycle: “Winterreise” by Franz Schubert.  (One performance only this Friday 7:30 at the UH Orvis Auditorium.)

Symphony in the park

May 28, 2019

Joe Stepec, conducting his first symphony in the park this Friday , speaks with morning café’s Gene Schiller.

Scott Fikse, music director of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, shows what it’s like to ‘think outside the Bach’ on Thursday’s morning café.

Superstars Stu Chafetz and Ran Dank share the spotlight on Friday’s morning cafe

The dynamic duo of Jon Nakamatsu and Lisa Nakamichi (plus conductor Hans Graf) pay a visit to morning café.  

JoAnn Falletta, in town for the annual Beethoven bash, drops in for a friendly visit to Morning Café.

Conrad Tao and Ankush Bahl, in town for this weekend’s symphony concert, join morning café’s Gene Schiller for a lively discussion on Brahms, Dvorak, and the “Bohemian Connection.”

Damira Feldman makes her Oahu debut this Saturday  (November 10th) at Kawaiahao church; listen as she traces the musical path which has taken her from Kazan to Israel, Europe, and the United States.

JoAnn Falletta and Mark Votapek rhapsodize over this weekends concert with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, a program including Dvorak’s Cello Concerto and Suk’s Fairy Tale. “Czech” it out.

Deb Owen
Deb Owen

Alfredo Minetti and Iggy Jang talk up their “Tango Extravaganza” on morning café 

Conductor JoAnn Falletta and violinist Bella Hristova join Gene Schiller this morning to highlight their upcoming performances with the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra.

Emmanuel Plasson, conductor of Gounod’s  “Romeo et Juliette,” pays Morning Café a visit to discuss Gounod, the new HOT production, and of course, his famous father, Michel Plasson

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.