Classical Pacific

Weekdays 3-6pm on HPR-2
  • Hosted by John Kalani Zak

The finest of the world’s classical music to ease your afternoon drive. Featured on this newest of HPRʻs classical music programs will be the great orchestras, artists, and opera companies of the Pacific region, including Hawai‘i’s own.  Every other Friday, a special segment called “The Big Ears Music Club” will introduce young listeners to the joys of classical music.

John Kalani Zak, the son of an airline executive father and a journalist mother, was born in Washington D. C. He has lived in and traveled to many locations around the globe, and is delighted to call Hawaiʻi his home.

Hawaiian ways and traditions have captivated John for as long as he can remember. He had the joy of making several documentary films, including Hawaiian Healing and Pule Wailele, which screened at the HIFF and Maui film festivals in Hawaiʻi and overseas. Other projects include a book, Hawaiian Massage Lomilomi, Sacred Touch of Aloha.

In addition to duties as an on-­air host with Hawaiʻi Public Radio, John is a voice-­over actor, producing and narrating books for Audible.com, among other projects.

Past work includes producing and/or directing daytime serials, including The Bold and the BeautifulOne Life to LiveGeneral Hospital and The Young and the Restless. John has received 7 national Emmy nominations, an Emmy Award, and was nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award. He is a member of the Hawaiian Historical Society and the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club.

Zak is also an avid photographer. He loves all forms of music, from Hawaiian, to classical, to Brazilian jazz, to Bulgarian folksongs.

Classical Pacific Host John Zak Stepping Down in December

HPR Listeners' 100 Classical Favorites (played during Spring 2017 Fund Drive)

Ways to Connect

HPR President & General Manager José A. Fajardo announced today that John Kalani Zak has decided to step down as host of the afternoon drive time program Classical Pacific on HPR-2. His last day on the program will be on December 15.

Zak, who has extensive national credits as a producer and director of daytime serials, as well as a voice-over actor, leaves to pursue other opportunities in the area of production and voice-over.

Big Ears Club - 11/03/17

Nov 6, 2017

In this episode of the Big Ears Music Club, Louise King Lanzilotti and John Zak explore the world of stringed instruments.  

Join piano virtuoso, Stephen Hough, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra Concert Master, Iggy Jang, and John Kalani Zak, host of HPR-2’s Classical Pacific for a lively conversation on topics ranging  from the complicated dynamics of  student-teacher-parent relationships, to a passionate discussion about the positive and negative pressures of recitals and competitions. The event was held with  a live audience of members of the Hawaii Music Teachers Association and was a collaboration with Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Big Ears Club - 8/25/17

Sep 13, 2017

John Zak and music educator, Louise King Lanzilotti, talk story with a talented young clarinetist from Punahou School. Louise also discuss why participating in musical theatre is a great way for young people to explore their creative side.

During his time in Hawaii, pianist Andre Watts joined HPR's Classical Pacific host John Zak and HSO's concert Master Iggy Jang in a discussion with a live studio audience.  

The Big Ears Music Club brings together young people, parents, and music educators across the state of Hawaiʻi.  In this segment, Host John Zak talks with music educator Louise King Lanzilotti about the benefits to young people of learning music.  And John shares an interview he did with high school cellist Abigail Austria.