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NYPR Archives & Preservation

Caesar's Commentaries

Monday, December 16, 2013

From the June 1944 WQXR Program Guide:

Mr. Caesar has been before the public as lyricist and librettist for twenty-five years. Among his better-known lyrics are "Tea for Two," "Sometimes I'm Happy," "Lady Play Your Mandolin," "Swanee," "Crazy Rhythm," and a series of children's songs. "Sing a Song of Safety," in wide use throughout our public school system. He is a member of the Board of Directors of ASCAP, and a former president of the Songwriters' Protective Association.

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The Greene Space

On-Demand Video: Musical Gifts with Joshua Bell and Friends

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Superstar violinist Joshua Bell joined us for an exclusive evening of holiday music on December 10, 2013, performing from his new CD, Musical Gifts: Joshua Bell and Friends.

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The Greene Space

On-Demand Video: WQXR's Chanukah Celebration Across the Globe

Friday, December 06, 2013

On December 5, 2013, WQXR celebrated the rich and varied musical traditions of countries where Jews have lived and worshipped for centuries. 

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The Greene Space

On-Demand Video: Richard Tucker Award Winner Isabel Leonard and Friends

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Watch on-demand video of an exclusive performance and conversation with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. Featuring special guests Matthew Polenzani, tenor and past Richard Tucker Award Winner; Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor tenor and past Career Grant recipient; and Sherrill Milnes, legendary Met baritone, who talked about his illustrious career and his memories of Richard Tucker. Presented by WQXR and hosted by Operavore's Naomi Lewin.

 

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WQXR Features

WQXR Expands its Reach into Westchester with New WQXW 90.3 FM

Monday, July 29, 2013

Beginning today, WQXR expands its reach into central and northern parts of Westchester County on the new WQXW 90.3 FM.

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In Public: Essays from Laura Walker, President of New York Public Radio

WQXR: Serving Westchester!

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

 

Dear Listeners,

 

In 2009, New York Public Radio acquired WQXR from The New York Times Company, preserving one of the city’s finest cultural institutions and New York’s only all-classical music station.  As a public radio station, WQXR has thrived by offering the best in classical music programming on the radio, on digital devices and through exclusive live events.

Today, it gives me great pleasure to announce that New York Public Radio has acquired a Westchester station that will extend the reach of WQXR in Central and Northern Westchester.  As a consequence of the frequency change to 105.9 FM that came with the 2009 acquisition, we could no longer serve parts of Westchester.  We’ve been looking for opportunities to restore that service ever since.  This acquisition enables us to do just that and to expand even farther.

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The Greene Space

EMANCIPATION 150: Pianist Donal Fox performs Variations on Brahms' 'Die Trauernde'

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Donal Fox is an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and improviser known for his striking musical collages that blend elements of jazz, Latin and classical.

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The Greene Space

EMANCIPATION 150: Pianist Roy Eaton performs Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Pianist Roy Eaton was among the performers who joined us in April for a concert and conversation, presented by WQXR, about the struggles and triumphs of African-Americans in classical music. The event was part of our EMANCIPATION 150 series.

Eaton chatted with hosts Terrance McKnight and Helga Davis about how he came to classical music and the influence that his childhood neighborhood of Sugar Hill - a center for African-American art and culture during the Harlem Renaissance - had on his musical career. He also told the story of how he beat the odds and went on to play piano despite a severe hand injury

Watch his performance of Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu below:

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The Greene Space

EMANCIPATION 150: Pianist Donal Fox - Improvisation on Bach's Prelude in D minor

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pianist Donal Fox was among the performers who joined us in April for a concert and conversation, presented by WQXR, about the struggles and triumphs of African-Americans in classical music. The event was part of our EMANCIPATION 150 series.

After performing his improvisations on Bach, with its fusion of jazz with classical, co-host Helga Davis asked Fox about the origins and inspiration for his style.

Fox said that growing up, three major composers' works were played in his home: Bach's cantatas, Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" and Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool

"So, I’ve been trying to reconcile that ever since," he said. Fox said his style aims to "bring all these different cultures, all this different music together in a way that [is] part of who I am in the American fabric. I didn't want to leave any of it out."

Watch his performance below:

 

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The Greene Space

EMANCIPATION 150: Pianist Roy Eaton on why black audiences for classical music are small

Monday, May 20, 2013

Roy Eaton was just six years old when he began playing the piano. It was the 1930s, and he was a boy growing up on Edgecombe Avenue in Sugar Hill, New York, a center for African-American art and culture during the Harlem Renaissance. 

"It was a wonderful neighborhood," he said. "It was segregated, yes. But it was a segregation that allowed seeds to be planted and blossoms to occur that could not have occurred in any other environment. My next door neighbor was [jazz saxophonist] Sonny Rollins. Down the block was [artist] Faith Ringgold."

The classical pianist and composer was among the performers who joined us for a concert and conversation presented by WQXR about the struggles and triumphs of African-Americans in classical music, part of our EMANCIPATION 150 series. Hosts Helga Davis and Terrance McKnight asked Eaton why he thought black audiences tended to be small for classical music. Hear his answer in the video below. 

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The Greene Space

Bach Lounge: Cellist Jan Vogler plays from Bach's Suite No. 1, live in The Greene Space

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cellist Jan Vogler was among the musicians who performed during March's two-part Bach Lounge, presented live in The Greene Space by WQXR.

During the event, co-host David Garland asked Vogler about the difference that playing a Stradivarius cello makes for him in his performances.

"When you play solo, the cello is your communication partner," Vogler said. "And it's very important that you have a communication which brings out more that just what you plan. So some angels come, hopefully. And with this cello, right away there was some magic."

Watch his performance below:

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The Greene Space

The Emerson String Quartet performs Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On May 6, WQXR presented the Emerson String Quartet in The Greene Space — the ensemble's final New York performance with longtime cellist David Finckel. 

WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon asked Finckel about his decision to leave the quartet after making over 40 recordings and collecting nine Grammy Awards with the ensemble over 34 years.

"I've been so fortunate to have these gentlemen as my colleagues and companions exploring such incredible literature, but at a certain point, I looked at my life," he said, likening his decision to mountain climbing. "It doesn't matter how many times you've climbed Mount Everest, if there are more mountains up there in the clouds that you haven't explored, there's an urge to go up." 

They were joined on stage by Paul Neubauer on viola and Colin Carr on cello. Here, watch their performance of Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence.

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Fishko Files

Rostropovich (1927-2007)

Thursday, May 09, 2013

This Saturday, a special concert celebrates the late Mstislav Rostropovich. Music Director Rostropovich made his reputation in America and the world as a cellist, and WNYC’s Sara Fishko spoke to cello-players for this edition of Fishko Files…

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The Greene Space

Violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Orli Shaham play from their new album Nigunim: Hebrew Melodies

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On April 15, WQXR presented violinist Gil Shaham and his sister, the pianist Orli Shaham, performing an evening of Jewish and Jewish-themed music live in The Greene Space. The sold-out concert featured selections from Nigunim: Hebrew Melodies, their forthcoming new album which includes music by Ernest Bloch, John Williams and Avner Dorman.

Host Elliott Forrest asked Gil Shaham about the tradition of violin in Jewish music.

"There's something about the weeping violin, there's something about the soulful sound, the human voice that lends itself [to the music]," Shaham said. Also, he added, "My teacher...used to say, 'Many Jews played the violin because they could not afford to buy pianos.'" 

Not missing an opportunity to rib her brother, Orli Shaham clarified, "Because, of course, the piano is the better instrument."

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The Greene Space

András Schiff plays Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, presented live in The Greene Space by WQXR

Thursday, April 18, 2013

During his recent visit to The Greene Space, András Schiff joined WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon to discuss and perform the music of J.S. Bach — a composer who has long been central to the Hungarian pianist's artistry. 

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The Greene Space

Pianist and composer Matt Herskowitz performs Bach's Prelude in C minor, live at Bach Lounge in The Greene Space

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Pianist and composer Matt Herskowitz was among the performers at WQXR's Bach Lounge — a two-part evening celebrating cross-genre interpretations of J.S. Bach's work. Here, he performs Bach's Prelude in C minor, which he recorded for the Grammy-nominated soundtrack to the 2003 animated film "The Triplets of Belleville."

Host Terrance McKnight noted the performance was reminiscent of the classical pianist Glenn Gould. 

"That's because I was originally hired by [director] Sylvain Chomet to play this prelude in the style of Glenn Gould, basically to imitate his performance for the movie," Herskowitz said. "So I did that, and then I started fooling around with the jazz waltz version and he said, 'Hey, why don't you do a take? We might use that in a movie.' And he did."

 

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The Greene Space

Award-winning composer Howard Shore tells WQXR's Jeff Spurgeon how he approaches the writing of a new film score

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A special guest turned out for Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti's recent concert in The Greene Space, a celebration of great film music from the 1930s to today.

"My understanding is that instrumentation is incredibly important when scoring for film," Benedetti told WQXR host Jeff Spurgeon, explaining her own process of recording her new album, "The Silver Violin."

"We have somebody here we can ask," Spurgeon said.

"I'm very aware," Benedetti answered. 

It was, of course, the award-winning composer Howard Shore, who has written the scores for over 80 films, perhaps most notably for "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He took the stage for a few moments to speak with Spurgeon about his writing process and how he approaches the composition of a new film score. Hear what he had to say below.

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In Public: Essays from Laura Walker, President of New York Public Radio

Bach To Normal

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Everyone has a story to tell about Bach.  Here’s mine.

Bach brought me back after 9/11.  It was Sunday, September 23, 2001, just twelve days after the terrorist attacks brought down the World Trade Center, killed thousands of people and obliterated all sense of reason and order in our city.   I was in my kitchen preparing the first “normal” meal my family would eat together since the tragedy hit.  I had been working round-the-clock navigating a city in chaos and filled with raw emotion.

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The Greene Space

Violinist Nicola Benedetti performs 'Por Una Cabeza' from the film 'Scent of a Woman' in a live broadcast for WQXR

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of classical music's fast-rising stars, visited The Greene Space recently to give her only New York concert of the season in a live broadcast for WQXR.

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The Greene Space

A Look Back: 2012 in The Greene Space

Friday, December 21, 2012

Take a look back at a year of music, performance and conversation in The Greene Space. From a tribute to Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston to WQXR's Beethoven String Quartets Marathon to WNYC's Women Box — it's a big world in here.

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