Conor Hanick is a concert pianist, chamber musician, and modern music enthusiast living in New York City. His playing of standard and contemporary repertoire has been widely praised, reminding the New York Times’s Anthony Tommasini of “a young Peter Serkin."
As a soloist, chamber musician, and ensemble member, Conor has been heard throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, performing in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall and (Le) Poisson Rouge. He has collaborated with conductors Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, David Roberston and James Levine, and performs regularly with the AXIOM, Pittsburgh New Music and Metropolis ensembles. As a fervent promoter of contemporary music, Conor has collaborated, commissioned and performed works by composers from Northwestern, Princeton, Yale, Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard in addition to working with John Adams, Pierre Boulez, Mario Davidovsky, Charles Wuorinen, Magnus Lindberg and David Lang.
Now a student at the Juilliard School, where he completed his master’s degree in 2008, Conor is a full-scholarship C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow maintaining an often disproportionate balance between performing, teaching and contributing to WQXR's Q2, where he hosts Hammered!, a showcase of contemporary piano music.
While there is never a lack of The New at Q2 Music, rarely has there been so much new in one week's worth of programing. This week we take our selections exclusively from recently piano releases – some featured on Q2 Music's Album Of The Week – and spin tracks from the front lines of new music.
Folk music has inspired composers throughout history. Tune in all week for music by Bela Bartok, Vivian Fung, John Zorn and more whose music is colored with styles, rhythms and forms of non-Western music.
The early modernists had Claude Debussy, the post-war György Ligeti, and the twenty-first century may very well point to the French master Pascal Dusapin as the torchbearer for reinventing the technical capabilities and sonic potential of the piano.
Family ties resemble teacher-student relations in weird ways. A student's music might "resemble" a teacher's style, or sometimes try very hard to disassociate itself. This week on Hammered! we sort through the branches of four different musical family trees.
Late in his life, the famed Italian pianist and composer Ferruccio Busoni felt so straightjacketed by the tonal system that he said one of the only viable method of escape was the invention of new sounds through electronic instruments.
Musical Yins meet their complementary Yangs this week on Hammered! Listen mornings at 10 am for music of Brian Ferneyhough, Giya Kancheli, György Ligeti and much, much more.
"Impromptu": something spontaneous, tossed-off, improvisatory. For composer Brian Schober, the term has a weightier significance and serves as the creative launching pad for his vast, cinematic set of impressions for piano called the Manhattan Impromptus, a work explored in its entirety this week on Hammered!.
Despite the bizarrely high likelihood this week of NYC's "Polar Vortex" turning unseasonably spring-like, we're nevertheless hunkering down with wintery landscape pieces for piano and percussion, anchored by the The Adams From The North, Alaskan composer John Luther Adams.
This week on Hammered! we dive deep into the music of the spectral school, exploring the sounds of Tristan Murail, Gerard Grisey, Claude Vivier and more alongside bits of "proto-spectralists" Olivier Messiaen, Claude Debussy and Bela Bartok. Listen each morning at 10 am.
One cycle ends, another begins, ushering in new priorities, new methods of organization, and probably a renewed gym membership. This week on Hammered! we honor this most momentous of metronome clicks with piano music that uniquely addresses the question of time and the temporal.
It's the time of year when candles are lit, presents are exchanged, thanks are given, and – here at Q2 Music – we indulge in two hours of hyper-modern, ravishingly beautiful keyboard music via Olivier Messiaen.
New Yorkers needn't travel far to hear music from a great composer, and this week on Hammered! we follow suit with a week's worth of borough-hopping playlists that survey New York City's young composers.
No ambiguity here. No broader historical context required. No chicken / egg complex. This week we listen to five piano concertos preluded by the smaller piano pieces from which they came.
Few pianists have impacted contemporary music more profoundly than the Frenchman Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Hear his insights and performances of Ives, Ligeti and Messiaen all week on Hammered!
Composers today inherit some pretty profound baggage. How is one able to write a single note! with all of music's most monolithic presences staring at your staff paper? One option is to ignore them, another is to talk with them.
To be a composer is to be aware of your musical family tree, and to some degree, exploit the strengths of your forefathers in order to create something novel. Stravinsky, after all, said that "good composers borrow, great composers steal!"
There are many reasons to tip the musical hat this week: Charles Wuorinen's 75th birthday; Ned Rorem's 90th!; the one year anniversary of Elliott Carter's passing; and the centennial celebration of Witold Lutoslawski. Listen weekdays at 10 am for music by this handful of extraordinary composers.
Five days of accretive piano mayhem this week on Hammered!, beginning with music for zero pianists (all "automatic" pieces for pianola and other pianistic mechanisms), and, after adding one player and one piano per day, ending the week with repertoire for piano quartet.
We do our fair share of obscure music here at Q2 Music, but sometimes you want to flip on the radio and simply hear the hits. This week on Hammered! we offer exactly that in conjunction with our Fall Fund Drive. Please consider making a contribution today.
Today, Q2 Music celebrates new music's favorite holiday, Halloween, with its first 24-hour scarathon of hair-raising microtones, densely clustered choruses and heart-pumping slasher film suites.