He performs with major orchestras, runs his own string quartet and is artistic director of the Seattle Chamber Music Society. But James Ehnes is also a regular guy.
When you think mandolin, bluegrass pickers and old-timey music frequently comes to mind. But when Avi Avital sat down to play in the WQXR Café, the sounds of Bach and Bloch filled the air.
John Dowland is often considered the pinnacle of refined Elizabethan music. But for Michael Slattery, the composer may not represent England at all, but Ireland. He shows why in the WQXR Café.
Steven Isserlis, the English cellist, came to embrace Beethoven and Bach comparatively late in his busy career. He told us why, and performed live in the WQXR Café.
Nathan Gunn is known for such roles as Billy Budd, the Count in Marriage of Figaro and Lancelot in Camelot. Outside the opera world, he's the proud holder of a spot in People magazine’s “sexiest men alive” issue.
Tim Fain accompanied Natalie Portman in Black Swan and has been a regular collaborator with Philip Glass in recent years. Watch this video of him performing Glass's Partita.
Using some 40 different types of instruments, the Berlin-based quartet is just as likely to play the Renaissance canon as it is to tackle outrageously theatrical new works by today's composers.
French pianist Alexandre Tharaud has a particular fascination with the music that emerged from Le Boeuf Sur le Toit cabaret in the 1920s. Watch him play "Le Jazz" in the WQXR Café.
Ryu Goto opened his Café Concert with Kreisler's Liebesleid, a bittersweet waltz that evokes a kind of aristocratic grace from another era. But Goto is hardly a violinist stuck in the past.
Classical guitarist Xuefei Yang is on a mission to make her instrument more visible in the classical music mainstream. See her perform in the WQXR Café in two videos.
The Brentano String Quartet has taken abandoned pieces by Bach, Shostakovich, Haydn and Mozart, and commissioned several composers to write individual responses to them.
The English viol consort Fretwork had much to celebrate as it entered its 25th anniversary season last year. But the group suffered a tragedy from which it now strives to overcome.
To see Shenyang in an opera house, you might not guess that he's capable of delivering delicate art songs with subtle expressions. But he has begun championing Chinese art songs, as these videos show.
The Beijing Guitar Duo hails from China, studied in the US with a Cuban guitar legend, and plays music ranging from Scarlatti to Brazilian samba. Watch the duo play live in the WQXR Cafe.
The Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja has a voice unlike any other in opera today. Critics point to a rapid vibrato combined with an appealing sweetness that comes through on the high notes. See him perform in two videos.
The violinist and pianist have been honing a partnership for seven years. In the WQXR Café, they play the blistering finale from Franck’s Sonata in A Major.
While chatting with Charlie Siem, one gets the feeling the English violinist is yearning to quote that old shampoo commercial: Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.
The Cypress String Quartet turns 15 this year with an unusual venture: a nationwide radio tour. The ensemble joined us in the cafe as part of the first leg of that journey to perform music by Beethoven.
East and West met, in a manner of speaking, in the WQXR Café recently. The occasion was a performance by violinist Daniel Hope, sitarist Gaurav Mazumdar and tabla player Vishal Nagar.