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The Best of Classical Music from The City for Everyone

The Best of Classical Music from The City for Everyone


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The Best of Classical Music from The City for Everyone





For the last decade, Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, has been researching and writing about the outsize influence of German composer Richard Wagner on non-musicians — from literature, to film, to politics. The result of that work is his new book, Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music, which was published on September 15. He spoke with producer Max Fine about Wagner's broad influence, how we deal with great art by problematic artists, and what it means to publish this...


IN CONVERSATION - With Simone Dinnerstein

When the stay-at-home orders in New York began in March, pianist Simone Dinnerstein found herself unable to sit down at the piano. So, she took to reading and going on walks in Brooklyn's Greenwood Cemetery with her family. In June, her producer, Adam Abeshouse, convinced her to return to the piano through recording in her home. The results of those sessions, the album A Character of Quiet, featuring works by Schubert and Glass, is out now. Zev Kane talks with her about coping with lockdown,...


SPECIAL – The Black Experience in the Concert Hall: The Mozart Effect

WQXR’s Terrance McKnight hosts a conversation about the Black experience in the concert hall and the unique challenges people of color face in the classical music world with violinist Sanford Allen, vocalist & conductor Bobby McFerrin, vocalist Julia Bullock, tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and cellist Alvin McCall. Producer: Rosa Gollan Technical Producer: Ed Haber


IN CONVERSATION – With Davóne Tines

While In Conversations is on summer break, James Bennett sat down with Davóne Tines for a special episode as part of the Mostly Mozart on WQXR Festival to talk about his chamber Opera "The Black Clown", the relationship between Bach's music and R&B, and how sometimes just being in the room (or on stage) is already a form of protest. Listen to exclusive selections from Black Clown on Friday, August 14 at 11 pm for a Little Night Music, hosted by Helga Davis, and read more about The Black...


IN CONVERSATION – With Lauren Michelle

Lauren Michelle is very good at singing. Seriously — over her career, she's stacked up awards that include First Place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition, and claimed prize winner status as BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition prize winner, and The Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition. But, in classical music of all places, the myth of meritocracy looms ever-large. In this episode of IN CONVERSATION, writer/editor...


IN CONVERSATION – With Lucas Meachem

The latest episode of In Conversation features baritone Lucas Meachem in conversation with Merrin Lazyan. Meachem talks about life at home, his new foundation A Perfect Day, and the importance of diversity in classical music.



It was last summer that Orli Shaham began recording the complete Mozart piano sonatas. The new album is still in the works, but ever since April, she’s been offering special sneak previews. Every Wednesday, you can hear a selection from the album - available for one week only. It’s called MidWeek Mozart, and Shaham’s hoping it brings just a little more beauty into the world. Usually she shares a single movement, but all throughout July, Shaham’s making an entire sonata available for free...


IN CONVERSATION – With Anna Thorvaldsdottir

This week you can join James Bennett in his conversation with Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir about her chamber opera UR_ (which was due to have its US premiere at this year's Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center which has since been cancelled), the role technology played in this collaboration with International Contemporary Ensemble and Nokia Bell Labs in enhancing the musical experience, what it means to be a composer during a pandemic and of course taking inspiration from...


TRAILER – This Week with Yannick

WQXR and WRTI, Philadelphia’s classical music and jazz station, have come together to launch “This Week with Yannick,” an eight-week radio series hosted by acclaimed conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Nézet-Séguin – Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Orchestre Métropolitain of Montreal – has spent his career building connections between orchestras, singers, and audiences. Yannick now brings his passion for building connections through music outside of...


IN CONVERSATION – With Stewart Goodyear

Pianist and composer Stewart Goodyear joins Zev Kane this week In Conversation. They talk about his love of Beethoven and his "Sonatahons," in which he performs the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas in a single concert, his own compositions, and his experiences as a Black classical musician. His new recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos is out now on Orchid Classics. Zev Kane, Host Max Fine, Producer Rosa Gollan, Producer George Wellington, Technical Producer Lukas...


CONCERT WATCH – Opera in an Hour Movies

This month, you can take a crash course in six great operas... and invite the whole family to join you! San Francisco Opera is streaming six Opera in an Hour Movies – abridged versions of some of their family friendly productions. Shows like Carmen, The Barber of Seville, and The Magic Flute, all beautifully filmed and performed, and this month only, they’re free for everyone. Many of the shows are performed in English to make them accessible for even the youngest opera fans. And if you want...


CONCERT WATCH – Cleveland Orchestra

The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra has traditionally been considered one of America’s Big Five – along with New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. They’ve amassed six decades of recordings at the orchestra’s home in Severance Hall, and this summer they’re making some of those recordings available for on-demand listening. The series is called TCO Classics, and the first recordings are online now. They include the orchestra’s near-legendary performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with...


IN CONVERSATION – With Harriet Stubbs

Harriett Stubbs, english pianist and a "Personality with a capital P" is this week's guest In Conversation talking to our Host Paul Cavalconte from her London home where she hosts nighty quarantine concerts where she plays every thing from Bach, Bowie to the Beatles. They talk about social distancing concerts, her debut album Heaven & Hell, and the role of the concert piano in the classical and classic-rock genres. Paul Cavalconte, Host Luca Vasić, Producer Rosa Gollan, Producer George...


IN CONVERSATION – With Pierre Colombet and Gabriel Le Magadure of Quatuor Ebène

Host Zev Kane talks with the violinists of Quatuor Ebène, Pierre Colombet and Gabriel Le Magadure. Their Beethoven Around the World project, a series of performances of Beethoven's string quartets on 6 continents, was supposed to culminate in a series of performances of all 16 quartets at Carnegie Hall, but was cancelled when concert halls closed due to the COVID19 pandemic. They talk about their favorite quartets, the origins of Beethoven Around the World, and what it's like to start...


SPECIAL – Juneteenth: “The Black Experience in the Concert Hall”

To celebrate Juneteenth, WQXR hosted a live call-in special – “The Black Experience in the Concert Hall” – with WQXR's Evening Host Terrance McKnight. Terrance spoke with leading figures in the world of classical music, including Wynton Marsalis, virtuoso trumpeter and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center; Martina Arroyo, legendary soprano and founder of the Martina Arroyo Foundation; Jesse Rosen, CEO and President of the League of American Orchestras; and Khalil Gibran Muhammad,...


CONCERT WATCH – Czech Philharmonic

Ever since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, the Czech Philharmonic has been presenting concerts as best they could. They began with two players wearing masks, then moved on to concerts with small chamber ensembles, and this week, they’re going big while staying safe. On Wednesday, 62 players from the Czech Philharmonic will play an open air concert at Sychrov Castle – a neo-gothic, 19th century palace in the Czech Republic – with Music Director Semyon Bychkov conducting. They’ll...


In Conversation – With John Holiday

Countertenor John Holiday has been on a roll during this season of NBC’s The Voice. If this is your first time hearing his talent, why not check out this 2019 interview, as well as his previous visits to The Greene Space. In January, WQXR’s James Bennett, sat down with opera singer John Holiday to talk about the relationship of black America with opera. Holiday explains how he personally navigated this space, how the stories of opera might seem far away from today’s realities (yet still...


IN CONVERSATION – With Lucas Debargue

French Pianist Lucas Debargue and WQXR host Zev Kane share a passion for composer and J.S. Bach contemporary Domenico Scarlatti. In this latest episode of In Conversation they talk about Debargue's latest recording of Scarlatti's piano sonatas, tough choices (like picking 52 sonatas out of over 500 (!) for the album), and why we shouldn't try to be happy all the time. Zev Kane, Host Max Fine, Producer George Wellington, Technical Producer Lukas Krohn-Grimberghe, Executive Producer


CONCERT WATCH – Detroit Symphony

Detroit Symphony Orchestra – DSO Replay The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is one of the many organizations in the classical music world that has moved its offerings online. But they’ve done something slightly different – you don’t need a schedule to figure out when the orchestra is playing a certain work or where to go to watch it. Instead they have put their archives on its website under the heading DSO Replay. The Replay is a steady, ongoing stream of live performances, beautifully produced...


CONCERT WATCH – Jules Massenet: Thaïs

The Metropolitan Opera is closed and will not open before the end of the year. But the Met has been doing what they can for those of us who just can’t wait. Every night, you can watch a free stream of some of their best Live in HD productions, and even though there’s nothing quite like hearing opera live, these do help scratch the itch. This Sunday, it’s an opera by the French composer Jules Massenet called Thaïs. It’s the story of a doomed romance between a courtesan and a monk, and it...