John Schaefer

Host

John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986.

John has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990); The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003). He was contributing editor for Spin and Ear magazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from “The Music of Cambodia” to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley. 

In 2003, Schaefer was honored with the American Music Center's prestigious Letter of Distinction for his "substantial contributions to advancing the field of contemporary American music in the United States and abroad." In May 2006, New York magazine cited Schaefer as one of "the people whose ideas, power, and sheer will are changing New York" in its Influentials issue.  He began blogging for WNYC when accompanying the New York Philharmonic on its historic (and apparently very weird) trip to North Korea in 2008 and continues to blog at soundcheck.org.

He is a regular contributor to the World Science Festival and the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center; he has also written about horse racing (Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology, Vintage NY 2006) and was a regular panelist on the BBC’s soccer-based program Sports World.  

Shows:

John Schaefer appears in the following:

Weekly Music Roundup: Charles Bradley, Smashing Pumpkins, and Jacob Banks

Monday, November 12, 2018

New Sounds
This week, posthumous music from Charles Bradley, Smashing Pumpkins are not dead yet, and a moving video from Jacob Banks.
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Watch: Glimmery Electro Art-Pop by Arthur Moon

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Arthur Moon is the moniker of composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Lora-Faye Åshuvud. Hear dazzling and strange off-kilter pop from the band Arthur Moon, who perform in-studio. 

Opera Takes To The Air In New 'Satyagraha' Production

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The new production at BAM, where the opera first premiered in 1981, adds another dimension as each major character is performed by both an opera singer and an aerialist.

Comments [1]

Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy”

Thursday, October 18, 2018

John Schaefer & Jonathan Meiburg on David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy.” 

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Weekly Music Roundup: Esperanza Spalding and Imogen Heap's 'Platform 9¾'

Monday, October 15, 2018

New Sounds
Week of October 15: This week, music for Harry Potter by Imogen Heap, a musical spell from Esperanza Spalding, a new immigrant song, and Derek Brown, the beatboxing sax player. 
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New York’s Surprising New Performance Space – The High Line

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Once, an eyesore, The High Line is now the site for an ambitious new opera over a mile long with a thousand singers. 

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Modernizing the Music Business for the Streaming Era

Friday, September 28, 2018

In a rare bipartisan move, the House and Senate unanimously pass the Music Modernization Act which will update copyright rules and create a new licensing system.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Wolf Alice, Jeremy Dutcher, and The Most Perfect Album

Monday, September 24, 2018

New Sounds
Week of Sept. 24: This week, surprise winners of the Mercury and Polaris Prizes, and more surprises from Joey Stylez and Macy Gray.
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Meet Jaap: A New Conductor Takes the Baton

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jaap van Zweden makes his debut as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic this week.

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Weekly Music Roundup: Swamp Dogg, Julia Holter, and First Aid Kit

Monday, September 10, 2018

New Sounds
Week of September 10: This week, A "Blaze" of Glory, an old Dogg’s new trick, and a Mountain Goats surprise.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Tunde Olaniran, boygenius, and Moses Sumney

Monday, August 27, 2018

New Sounds
Week of August 27: This week, a Bill Withers Tribute, off-kilter pop from Tunde Olaniran, the debut of boygenius, Moses Sumney's EP, and world music orchestra, Bokanté.
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The Best of WNYC Live - Volume Two

Thursday, August 16, 2018

No one could have foreseen the dramatic and unexpected renaissance of live performances on WNYC in the 1990s.
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The Best of WNYC Live - Volume One

Thursday, August 09, 2018

These segments provide a friendly, informative entrance to the music we play on WNYC.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Robyn, Cypress Hill and Urban Santeria by Okonkolo

Monday, August 06, 2018

New Sounds
For this week of August 6, we celebrate the long-awaited returns of Swedish electropop star Robyn and the classic California rap outfit Cypress Hill, plus Urban Santeria from Okonkolo.
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The WNYC Commissions Volume One

Thursday, August 02, 2018

WNYC has a long heritage of supporting living composers and live music, and a wide view of what the words "classical music" might mean.
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Dispatches From the Bang on a Can Summer Festival 2018: Part 1

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New Sounds
Folk songs, scat-singing, an unintended interview with a flutist, and the sound engineer's perspective: A roundup of July 23, via the Media Workshop at Bang on a Can Summer Festival. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Mitra Sumara, Future, and "The Immigrants"

Monday, July 09, 2018

New Sounds
Week of July 9: This week: rollicking Farsi funk, a melancholy Future, Kate Bush looks to the past, and "The Immigrants." 
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Remembering Henry Butler, Unforgettable New Orleans Pianist

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

New Sounds
The singer and pianist Henry Butler, one of the great New Orleans pianists - along with Doctor John, Professor Longhair, and James Booker- died yesterday at 68. Here's this remembrance. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Directors and Dos Santos

Monday, July 02, 2018

New Sounds
Week of July 2: This week, Drake, Directors, and Chicago-based Dos Santos. Plus, a new video from Meshell Ndegeocello.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Conscious Hip-Hop and Aging Rockers

Monday, June 25, 2018

New Sounds
This week, Paul McCartney's new release, new rock from Shakey Graves, a collaboration between Charles Lloyd and Lucinda Williams, and PEOPLE announce their lineup
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