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: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer Ellen Reid And Immigrant Songs

Monday, April 15, 2019

New Sounds
This week, hear immigrant songs from T-Bone Burnett and Sinkane, plus Ellen Reid wins the Pulitzer Prize winner for Music, and Aretha Franklin's Special Citation.
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Roll Over Rembrandt: Rock & Roll Comes To the Met

Monday, April 08, 2019

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has collaborated with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on a new exhibition called "Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll." 

Comments [1]

Weekly Music Roundup: Blitz the Ambassador and Tamino

Monday, April 01, 2019

New Sounds
Week of April 1: This week, music from a Ghanaian musician/film maker, a Belgian singer/model, and a California rocker/NPR fan. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Dexter Story, Malawi's Lazarus, and Angelique Kidjo

Monday, March 18, 2019

New Sounds
This week, (almost) all roads lead to Africa with Angelique Kidjo’s Celia Cruz tribute, Dexter Story's Ethiopop-influenced music, Carlos Santana with Buika, and Malawi's Lazarus.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Fémina, Little Simz, and Reese McHenry

Monday, March 04, 2019

New Sounds
Week of March 4: This week, a different kind of resistance song, a different kind of hip hop, and some classic garage rock.
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Weekly Music Roundup: Omar Apollo and Better Oblivion Community Center

Monday, February 04, 2019

New Sounds
This week, Billie Eilish and Omar Apollo: youth is served; The Mountain Goats offer an epic war story, and echoes of Ethiopia by Dexter Story. Plus, Better Oblivion Community Center.
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The Making Of 'The Lord Of The Rings'

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A new exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum looks at the how J. R. R. Tolkien created the world of the Middle-earth.

Comments [2]

Weekly Music Roundup: Nakhane, Tanya Tagaq, and India.Arie

Monday, January 21, 2019

New Sounds
This week, a big question from India.Arie, a 60s flashback, and a rapidly rising queer icon from South Africa. Plus, new music from Tanya Tagaq and Cinematic Orchestra. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: VÉRITÉ and The Raconteurs

Monday, December 24, 2018

New Sounds
Week of Dec. 24: Another farewell from Lin-Manuel Miranda (and Barack Obama), a surprise return by the Raconteurs, a new music session from VÉRITÉ, and a big ol’ box of gospel. 
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Weekly Music Roundup: Bruce Springsteen, MorMor, and Bibi Bourelly

Monday, December 10, 2018

Week of Dec. 10: This week, Springsteen on Broadway; Deerhunter and Bibi Bourelly on the environment; plus Chromeo, and Toronto's MorMor. 
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The Untold Story of The First World War in Africa

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

South African artist William Kentridge presents an expansive production that commemorates the African casualties of WWI to the Park Avenue Armory.

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For the First Time in 42 Years, a New Music Director at The Met

Monday, December 03, 2018

Two years earlier than planned, Yannick Nézet-Séguin hopes his tenure will lead to new works and new audiences.

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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.” 

Comments [1]

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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