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:
Tuesday, February 01, 2022
Here are just a few of the many composers and conductors that you should remember, for Black History Month and beyond.
Saturday, March 06, 2021
March 6, 2021, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of conductor Julius Rudel. We’ll be highlighting several works from his conducting discography on air to mark the occasion.
Monday, March 01, 2021
WQXR's James Bennett II walks listeners through the score and soundtrack of Judas and the Black Messiah.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Punctuating the Action; or, A Soundtrack Doing what Soundtracks Do Best
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Exploring the artistry of composer-pianist George Walker.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
A look at Robert Nathaniel Dett's lifelong search for sound.
Thursday, February 04, 2021
'Eternity' is journey, you know?
Wednesday, February 03, 2021
On listening to Margaret Bonds and the impact of classical song.
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Reber's Fourth Symphony is a vivacious and epic work. Why haven't we heard it live?
Friday, January 15, 2021
Music does what music do.
Wednesday, January 06, 2021
Guitars are popular. They're everywhere, and if you don't know how to play, Dan Smith will teach you. So why aren't they in the orchestra?
Friday, January 01, 2021
Thoughts and analysis from a countdown for a wild year.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Ever wondered why certain classical pieces seem so characteristically "holiday" and "New York?"
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
We didn’t listen to a ton of Beethoven like we thought we would this year. But we did talk about him. A lot.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Here's a list of five pieces Beethoven wrote for others and the stories behind them.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
I mean, this is just one way of hearing it.
Thursday, December 03, 2020
Classical artists reflect on what the unexpected year meant for them, for music, and the future.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Have I found my official Thanksgiving theme? Yes, yes I have.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Pedro Iturralde's Pequeña Czarda; or, "Kneel before the might of Sax Almighty."
Thursday, November 05, 2020
Of shepherd's pie and minty gum.