Phil Kline is a composer who makes music in many genres and contexts, from experimental electronics and sound installations to songs, choral, theater, chamber and orchestral music.
Raised in Akron, Ohio, he came to New York to study English Literature and music at Columbia. After graduation, he became part of the downtown New York arts scene: founding the rock band The Del-Byzanteens with Jim Jarmusch and James Nares, collaborating with Nan Goldin on the soundtrack to The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, and playing guitar in the notorious Glenn Branca Ensemble.
His early compositions grew out of his solo performance art and often used boombox tape players as a medium, most notably Bachman’s Warbler for harmonicas and twelve tape loops (1992) and the Christmas piece Unsilent Night, which debuted in the streets of Greenwich Village in 1992 and is now performed annually in dozens of cities around the world. Other compositions include Zippo Songs, a song cycle based on poems Vietnam vets inscribed on their Zippo lighters, The Blue Room and Other Stories, written for string quartet Ethel, and Exquisite Corpses, commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
More recent works include the choral mass John the Revelator, written for vocal group Lionheart; a piano sonata, The Long Winter, written for Sarah Cahill; and scores for three evening-length dance pieces by Wally Cardona: Everywhere, Site and Really Real. The sound installation World on a String opened the season at the Krannert Center in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in September 2007 and SPACE for string quartet and electronics was performed by Ethel at the gala reopening of Alice Tully Hall in 2009. Kline is currently working on an opera, Tesla in New York, in collaboration with writer-director Jim Jarmusch, and Out Cold, a song cycle for Theo Bleckmann and ACME.
On the heels of last month's Symphony Space performance celebrating the 80th birthday of Krzysztof Penderecki, the legendary Polish composer joins Phil Kline in the studio. Listen Friday at 12 pm.
Saturday at 7 pm, Q2 Music presented a live audio webcast of Alarm Will Sound's all Steve Reich concert from the Met Museum. It included the hometown premiere of Reich's Radiohead-inspired Radio Rewrite.
On Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 12 pm, Q2 Music honors the 90th birthday of the great song composer Ned Rorem with host Phil Kline and special guest Steven Blier, the co-founder and artistic director of the New York Festival of Song.
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.
This year marks the centenary of Polish composer Witold Lutosławski, and the 80th birthday of Krzysztof Penderecki. Today, join Q2 Music for an all-day marathon examining the diversity of contemporary classical music from Poland.
Conductor and New York City Opera general manager George Steel joins host Phil Kline for an in-depth look into the feverish, multifaceted innovations of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Hear this interview at 8 am and 8 pm on Q2 Music.
Recordings of The Rite of Spring began appearing shortly after the advent of the electronic microphone and continue to today. Phil Kline talks about his Top 10 Rite favorites.
In this episode: Khaled Hosseini is the bestselling author of "The Kite Runner” and the new novel “And the Mountains Echoed.” Tonight, Hosseini shares his favorite tracks by the late pop musician Ahmad Zahir -- often called “the Elvis of Afghanistan.”
Plus: Last year the singer and songwriter, Angel Olsen, released her idiosyncratic debut, Half Way Home. She brings her powerful voice (which has been heard on multiple collaborations with another idiosyncratic singer, Bonnie "Prince" Billy) to the studio for a live performance.
And: Composer Phil Kline has been spending a lot of time with Igor Stravinsky’s famous work, The Rite of Spring, for an upcoming radio marathon on our sister station Q2 Music. He’ll give us a preview of some of his favorite interpretations of the work.
Composer Phil Kline is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring by hosting a 24-hour marathon on Q2 celebrating different interpretations of Stravinsky’s work. He joins host John Schaefer to preview his playlist.
This week, we hear the world premiere recording of Magnus Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2, as delivered by the New York Philharmonic. We also sample Lee Hyla's new album "My Life on the Plains" and hear from our album of the week, featuring previously unrecorded music by Ann Southam.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring’s premiere, I’ve been thinking about what a time it was, how, as the world teetered on the brink of political and military disaster, revolutionary change was imminent in all the arts.
Composer Phil Kline has thought about The Rite of Spring "at least once every day since he first heard it at the age of four." When did you first hear it? What did you think? Do you have a favorite version? Let us know.
On Wednesday, pianist Vicky Chow celebrated the centennial of the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with a live performance from The Greene Space. Watch the full event.
"When Brian Eno first beeped across my radar screen, it was as the other-worldly, boa-draped synthesizer player in Roxy Music." All this week, Phil Kline explores Brian Eno's contributions to modern music. Listen weekdays at 11 am.
Why juxtapose Sibelius and Feldman over a week's programming? OK, it's partly a whimsical reaction to a striking quote in Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise, but there are, at least in their mature work, compelling commonalities. Hear Phil Kline weekdays from 11 am to 1 pm on Q2 Music.
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Pierre Boulez (1925-): Two great French composers, one at each end of the continuum of twentieth century music. Debussy would typically be characterized as the more sensual and accessible, Boulez the colder and more forbidding, the hard-line modernist, but a little listening demonstrates their connections.
The Shostakovich Symphonies are a maddeningly mixed bag, ranging from experimental to conservative, sublime to bombastic, and, most oddly, magnificent to awful. Hear them featured all week with Q2 Music's Phil Kline.
Hosted by Q2 Music's Phil Kline, the opening night of the 2012 Look & Listen Festival offered an array of percussive fireworks for marimba, Mbira, vibraphone and more, led by the evening's curators, So Percussion.
The composer Phil Kline considers the history of mavericks in classical music -- "the lone wolf, deemed-a-crackpot, do-it-yourselfer" types. He notes that the label is no longer so relevant: "we’re all mavericky now."