James Bennett, II

James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.

James is a noted pineapple enthusiast and native of the original (read: Chesapeake) Bay Area. At the impressionable age of 17, he moved to New York in search of concrete pastures and scooped up a BA in history from Columbia University. Classical music had always been an interest, but it really switched on after he heard Yo-Yo Ma rip “Fear” from Astor Piazzolla’s Four Tango Sensations. It popped up on shuffle, and he listened to it no fewer than 40 times in a row.  He’s also game to talk about jazz, hip-hop, and wave (chill, synth, vapor, or otherwise). James is also fond of funky ales, fall foliage, all things nautical, and harsh winters. Some would say he has a passing interest in the post-romantic situational comedy Friends

James Bennett, II appears in the following:

Google’s New Piano Genie Let’s You Play Like a Pro

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Google’s new gadget is a smarter version of the Guitar Hero controller. That’s more than a fair description.
Read More

Comment

12 Romantic Composers Not Named 'Liszt' or 'Brahms'

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

There were several composers of the 19th century that could make hearts swell, eyes water and temples pound with rushing excitement. And not all of them had names like Brahms and Liszt.
Read More

Comment

Classical Music’s Natural Selection

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Two Japanese researchers believe the theory of evolution can apply to music as well as biology.
Read More

Comment

Listen in Quaking Awe to the Might of the Classical Contrabassoon

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Listening to the forerunner to the modern contrabassoon is, in a word, an “experience.”
Read More

Comments [1]

Listen to Aaron Copland Bring ‘Appalachian Spring’ to Life

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A recorded rehearsal of one of Copland’s most familiar pieces sounds like the composer is creating the sound from the ground up.
Read More

Comment

Watch Two Opera Stars Record Their Voices on Edison Wax Cylinders

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

These voices take a trip to the past in a studio-turned-time-machine.
Read More

Comments [2]

A Stranded Orchestra Brings Vivaldi to the Airport

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

When your flight is delayed and instruments are at hand, it’s only a matter of time before music breaks out.
Read More

Comments [12]

An Insane Double Bass Solo Piece Designed to Make You Fail

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Failing doesn’t merely require some incredible musical skill. It also calls upon the ability to simultaneously recite a monologue on how hard the task is.
Read More

Comment

Just a Regular Pair of Geniuses (No Really)

Thursday, October 04, 2018

2018's MacArthur "Genius" class features two classical musicians: here's what you should know about them.
Read More

Comment

When Did WQXR Start Calling it 'Classical' Music?

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Sure, we use Classical music to describe the style of composers like Haydn and Mozart, but since when did we use that word to describe 1,000 years of music?
Read More

Comments [9]

Dessa: The Rapper, Writer and Poet on Composition, Hip-Hop, and Growing Up With a Lutenist Dad

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Ahead of her two performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, Dessa dropped by WQXR to talk about music, her composition process, and what classical picks she'd give to a hip-hop head.
Read More

Comment

Jean Sibelius’s Only Radio Interview Doesn’t Reveal Much — But Wow, That Voice

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

In 1948, the Finnish composer gave a neutral and reserved interview, but that shouldn’t stop you from listening to his deep, sagacious voice.
Read More

Comments [1]

What if ‘Rite of Spring’ Were an 80's Video Game? It Might Sound Like This

Monday, October 01, 2018

YouTuber foeveryrealx transformed Stravinsky’s ballet into an 8-bit suite. And it's mesmerizing.
Read More

Comment

A Tease of Conrad Tao’s ‘Everything Must Go’

Friday, September 28, 2018

The New York Philharmonic commissioned Conrad Tao to compose a work that serves as a prelude to Bruckner’s 8th — listen to how the two pieces are flawlessly linked together.
Read More

Comment

Saxy Ligeti Is Something We Had No Idea We Needed

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles are an intensely playful, sprightly set of short compositions. Turns out that a group of saxophones can convey that feeling quite well.
Read More

Comment

11 Conductors Choose Their Pieces of a Lifetime

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

"If you only had to conduct one piece for the rest of your life, what would it be?" is a question that conductors would probably want to avoid. But these 11 stepped up to the challenge.
Read More

Comments [8]

This Piano Trio’s Take on a ‘Final Fantasy’ Theme is a Musical Dream

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

“To Zanarkand” is one of the more popular tunes from video game composer Nobuo Uetmatsu’s oeuvre. One chamber group wanted to see what they could do with it.
Read More

Comment

Maria Callas is Back on Tour

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Curious to see what the resurrected diva looks and sounds like? Get a glimpse into the technological wonder and tell us what you think.
Read More

Comments [2]

12 Pieces of Autumn Music That Aren't by Vivaldi

Saturday, September 22, 2018

When it comes to locking down an Fall playlist, Vivaldi's "Autumn" is usually the runaway favorite. But let's switch it up and explore some other autumnal offerings from other composers.
Read More

Comments [3]

Need a Stream of the 2018 Gramophone Music Awards? Of Course You Do.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The 2018 Gramophone Music Awards ceremony is behind us, but if you missed it you can still catch the stream!
Read More

Comment