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.
Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president and a treasured symbol of hope in the struggle against racial oppression, died Thursday at 95. Soundcheck host John Schaefer has this musical remembrance.
All November, WNYC's classical music sister station is celebrating Mozart Month. Soundcheck host John Schaefer shares this handy A-Z guide to the prolific icon.
The author and musician James McBride won The National Book Award for his novel The Good Lord Bird. Soundcheck host John Schaefer reflects on the book and talking to McBride in a recent session with his band.
British composer Sir John Tavener, whose music stretched far beyond the classical world, has died at age 69. Soundcheck host John Schaefer has this remembrance.
John Schaefer remembers the iconic, enigmatic Velvet Underground co-founder and solo artist
For one night, at least, the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center might have been the hippest venue in New York, thanks to last night's American premiere of Two Boys, the opera by the gifted young composer Nico Muhly. Soundcheck host John Schaefer was there and has this review.
Every week brings a new batch of new music releases before you've even had a chance to catch up and digest the last ones. So to help, members of the Soundcheck team share some of their favorites of the week, including Lucius, The Dismemberment Plan, and Tim Hecker.
Inspired by the upcoming CBGB film, Soundcheck host John Schaefer recalls at least some of his early experiences with punk with a playlist.
The Great Brooklyn Migration is, for me, the defining transformation of Bloomberg’s New York.
Tonight at 7 pm, Q2 Music streamed the second of two live audio webcasts featuring music of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. The concert featured works for strings, including a world premiere.
Q2 Music recently streamed the first in a series of two live audio webcasts featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Listen to the concert featuring Shaw in performance with Roomful of Teeth.
Alex Winston's voice may provokes inevitable comparisons to Kate Bush, but her songwriting is distinctly her own. Hear "101 Vultures," a brand new song from Winston that hints at what to expect on her next album.
All this week, Soundcheck is marking the 30th anniversary of the Material Girl’s first album, and we’re asking listeners and readers to share their "Madonna Moment." Soundcheck host John Schaefer shares his, which involves Spin Magazine's first cover.
The indie rock band once called We Are Augstines has now changed its name to simply Augustines. The band has also unveiled a new track "Cruel City" for an album due in January.
The Cloisters brings a bit of medieval Europe -- and some modern art -- to New York.
A Park Slope wine shop had an especially clever birthday wish for avant-garde composer John Cage, who would've turned 101 yesterday.
The new hit video "#thatPOWER" from will.i.am and Justin Bieber may borrow the inventive motion effects from a Japanese group called World Order.
Nine Inch Nails' Hesitation Marks has been one of this fall's most eagerly-anticipated releases and fans and critics alike have been incredibly curious and excited about the band's comeback album. Now that the record is streaming over at iTunes, members of Soundcheck give the album a listen and offer their first impressions.
Last night, Soundcheck host John Schaefer watched MTV's Video Music Awards, and weighs in on Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, 'NSYNC, Bruno Mars and more.