WETA, Washington’s classical radio station, is losing its voice — one of them, at any rate. This week John Chester, the station’s afternoon host since 2007 and an iconic voice of classical music in Washington, announced he is retiring at the end of December.

Chester was one of three staffers from WGMS, the former leading classical station in Washington, who moved to WETA when WGMS went off the air and WETA acquired the station’s library and moved to a classical-only format. His three-decade radio career also included a stint in Boston with WCRB.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been very fortunate to share the music that I love with devoted radio listeners,” Chester said in a statement. “I thank WETA for keeping classical music alive in Greater Washington and am grateful to the station’s dedicated audience for their ongoing support.”

He will not, however, be entirely gone from the airwaves. He will continue his stint as overnight host remotely, after moving with his wife to North Carolina.

— Anne Midgette