Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986.

Schaefer has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990); The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003). He was contributing editor for Spin and Ear magazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from “The Music of Cambodia” to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley. 

In 2003, Schaefer was honored with the American Music Center's prestigious Letter of Distinction for his "substantial contributions to advancing the field of contemporary American music in the United States and abroad." In May 2006, New York magazine cited Schaefer as one of "the people whose ideas, power, and sheer will are changing New York" in its Influentials issue.  He began blogging for WNYC when accompanying the New York Philharmonic on its historic (and apparently very weird) trip to North Korea in 2008 and continues to blog at soundcheck.org.

He is a regular contributor to the World Science Festival and the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center; he has also written about horse racing (Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology, Vintage NY 2006) and was a regular panelist on the BBC’s soccer-based program Sports World.  

Shows:

John Schaefer appears in the following:

Five Songs For Dylan Thomas

Monday, October 27, 2014

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas' birthday, Soundcheck host John Schaefer reflects on five songs inspired by the Welsh poet.
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A Subway Symphony, Thanks To WiFi

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Composer Ljova conducted 11 subway musicians spread across New York via WiFi.
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Space Is The Place: Twelve Cosmic Songs For Sci-Fi Fans

Thursday, October 09, 2014

With New York Comic Con kicking off today, the city is full of even more aliens and space cadets than usual. Soundcheck's John Schaefer welcomes them with his favorite sci-fi songs.
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Hear A New Song From Agnes Obel's Deluxe 'Aventine'

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Danish singer-songwriter's deluxe edition of her 2014 album, Aventine, features unreleased songs, remixes and live performances. Hear a brand new song, "Arches."
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Beyond 'Fame': Ten Deep Cuts That Reveal The True Genius Of David Bowie

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Beneath big hits like “Changes” and “Let’s Dance” lies the real genius of David Bowie. Soundcheck host John Schaefer offers up his favorite essential lesser-known masterpiece songs.
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Review: The 'David Bowie Is' Documentary

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Today, David Bowie Is opened at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Soundcheck's John Schaefer reviews a documentary film, also called David Bowie Is, which debuted tonight.

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How To Be Smarter About... Kate Bush

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The English art-rocker has returned to the stage after 35 years and set a new U.K. charts record. Soundcheck's John Schaefer rounds up ten of Bush's must-hear songs.

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Ask John Schaefer Anything: Can A Musician Be Too Virtuosic?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Soundcheck host John Schaefer answers questions from readers and listeners about whether technically impressive playing can leave you cold.
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Three Must-Hear New Songs From The Vaselines, Young Buffalo, Jenny Hval And Susanna

Monday, August 18, 2014

Soundcheck host John Schaefer listens to a lot of music over the course of a week. Here's three of his favorite tracks that caught his ear, both for the music and the stories behind them.

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'The Black Album' Puts The Beatles Back Together for New Generation

Monday, August 18, 2014

"The Black Album" reimagines The Beatles, providing a compilation of songs from the solo careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Star.

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Remembering The Musical Robin Williams

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Soundcheck host John Schaefer remembers the musician that lurked among the crowded cast of characters in Williams’ mind.

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In The Valley Below's Sunny And Subversive Synth Pop

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

In The Valley Below could probably just do bright synth-pop, but what you get instead is something slightly more subversive. The Los Angeles duo's upcoming album, The Belt, isn't out for a few weeks yet, but the band has already unveiled a handful of songs with killer hooks and edgy guitars.

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John Luther Adams' 'Sila': Finding Music In Urban Noise

Monday, July 28, 2014

This past weekend saw the premiere of Sila, a new immersive work by this year's Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, John Luther Adams. Soundcheck host John Schaefer was there and has these thoughts on the unconventional work, and the siren he heard out on the streets outside Lincoln Center.

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Celebrating Nickel Creek's Triumphant Return In Brooklyn

Friday, July 25, 2014

Last night, after nearly seven years away pursuing other projects, Nickel Creek brought its reunion to Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. And they wasted no time in showing that they haven't lost their ability to delight with its deep roots in American string band music.

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A 'Moving' New Song From James Is A Matter Of Life And Death, And Yarn

Friday, July 18, 2014

The British band James is returning with La Petite Mort, its first new album in six years. Watch the remarkable and poignant music video for the band's song "Moving On."

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The 2014 World Cup: Some Final Thoughts

Monday, July 14, 2014

This World Cup had it all: A huge haul of goals, but also stunning goalkeeping, stout defense, lots of late drama, overachieving minnows and mighty giants brought low. Soundcheck host John Schaefer says it was also the year soccer/football ascended into the hearts of more Americans than ever.

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Check Ahead: Dave Douglas And Uri Caine, 'Present Joys'

Sunday, July 13, 2014

For years, jazz trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas and keyboardist Uri Caine have collaborated on all sorts of projects. But with Present Joys, they're finally recording as a duo. 

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The World Cup Final: Who Will Rule The World?

Friday, July 11, 2014

With the World Cup final coming up on Sunday, Soundcheck host, and Germany supporter, John Schaefer, runs through the match up of titans, and tries to guess who the Brazilians will root for: the German team that destroyed them earlier this week, or their arch-rivals, Argentina.

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World Cup Lingo, Explained

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

If you’ve been watching the World Cup on ESPN and/or ABC, then you may have noticed that most of the announcers are British. This is quite a comfort to the growing number of American fans of the English Premier League, where we’ve become used to announcers who are knowledgeable but also sound like they've read a book or two in their time. However, in soccer as in so many other things, England and America are two countries separated by a common tongue. The language of soccer uses familiar words that, in this context, have specific and often unfamiliar meanings. So just in time for the semifinals, Soundcheck host John Schaefer presents a little Soccer-English-To-English glossary.

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World Cup Semifinals: A Clash Of Musical Titans

Monday, July 07, 2014

After this weekend's World Cup action, there are now four teams left for the semi-finals. One of these games pits two countries with estimable musical traditions against each other -- Netherlands and Argentina. The other features two of the world's musical giants -- Germany and Brazil. Soundcheck host John Schaefer explores the match-ups and offers up some musical suggestions.

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