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.
John Schaefer appears in the following:
Monday, February 04, 2019
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.
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.
Monday, January 21, 2019
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.
Monday, December 24, 2018
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.
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.
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.
Monday, December 03, 2018
Two years earlier than planned, Yannick Nézet-Séguin hopes his tenure will lead to new works and new audiences.
Monday, November 12, 2018
This week, posthumous music from Charles Bradley, Smashing Pumpkins are not dead yet, and a moving video from Jacob Banks.
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.
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.
Thursday, October 18, 2018
John Schaefer & Jonathan Meiburg on David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy.”
Monday, October 15, 2018
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.
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.
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.
Monday, September 24, 2018
Week of Sept. 24: This week, surprise winners of the Mercury and Polaris Prizes, and more surprises from Joey Stylez and Macy Gray.
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Jaap van Zweden makes his debut as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic this week.
Monday, September 10, 2018
Week of September 10: This week, A "Blaze" of Glory, an old Dogg’s new trick, and a Mountain Goats surprise.
Monday, August 27, 2018
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.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
No one could have foreseen the dramatic and unexpected renaissance of live performances on WNYC in the 1990s.
Thursday, August 09, 2018
These segments provide a friendly, informative entrance to the music we play on WNYC.