Graham Parker is the General Manager of WQXR, the most listened to classical station in the country and New York’s only all-classical station. WQXR was acquired by New York Public Radio in 2009 and quickly established itself as an essential part of the New York Public Radio family of brands.
Over the past two years, Parker has overseen and implemented an ambitious growth plan that puts WQXR front and center in New York’s thriving classical music scene. While serving WQXR’s loyal fan base with long-established programs like Exploring Music and Young Artist Showcase, the station has cultivated new audiences by integrating on air offerings with live events and digital offerings. During Parker’s tenure, WQXR has launched a new national series, Carnegie Hall Live, pioneered critically acclaimed festivals including Beethoven Awareness Month, and presented a broad range of events in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space featuring artists from Lang Lang to Rufus Wainright. The station has aired more live broadcasts over the last year than ever before in its history from leading venues around New York and the United States.
Parker has secured WQXR’s role as a leading digital music source, with the growth of Q2Music, a channel dedicated to contemporary classical music, and in January 2012, the launch of Operavore, WQXR’s 24/7 opera channel.
Prior to joining WQXR, Parker was the Executive Director of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In his eight years with Orpheus, Parker played a critical role in securing the long term future for this world-class orchestra. Major accomplishments include financial stabilization, ground-breaking artistic collaborations, educational partnerships and a variety of media and broadcasting initiatives. In 2009, Parker was given the Helen M. Thompson Award by the League of American Orchestras.
Prior to his work with Orpheus, Parker was the General Manager of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and held positions with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic.
Parker, born in London, England holds a BSc (Hons) from Oxford Brookes University. He started his musical training on flute and piano, eventually taking up conducting when he arrived at college. Upon graduation, he was selected to conduct his University’s Chorus and Orchestra, a production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Oxford University Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
Parker lives in Manhattan with his partner and son and daughter.
Graham Parker, General Manager and Vice President of WQXR, and Simone Dinnerstein, one of the best-known contemporary Bach interpreters, discuss WQXR’s all Bach festival, Bach 360, March 21 (Bach’s birthday)–March 31.WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and WQXR.org will break with its regular programming to present an all-Bach playlist, playing every single piece by the composer—every cantata, every chorale prelude, every keyboard study—more than 1000 works total. Dinnerstein’s album of Bach’s Goldberg Variations ranked 1 on the US Billboard Classical Charts in its first week of sales, and she’ll be performing her rendition of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on March 28, at 12 pm, in The Greene Space.
WQXR's general manager considers the importance of celebrating the world's most ubiquitous composer, particularly in the aftermath of a natural disaster.