Terrance McKnight


Terrance McKnight: a proud voice resounding from the middle of the road. Terrance is the evening host on WQXR and creator and host of the new WQXR podcast "Every Voice with Terrance McKnight." 

When Terrance McKnight moved to New York City, his 96-year-old grandmother offered him a few words of wisdom: “If you’ve got something to say, get out there in the middle of the road and say it; don’t go hiding behind no bush.” From a long line of passionate citizens — his maternal family founded a branch of the NAACP in Mississippi and his father the pastor of a church in Cleveland — Terrance and his siblings were expected to contribute to their community while growing up. Early on, Terrance decided he would take the musician’s journey.

As a teenager, he played trumpet in the school orchestra and played piano for various congregations around Cleveland.  At Morehouse College and Georgia State University he performed with the college Glee Club and New Music Ensemble respectively and subsequently joined the music faculty at Morehouse. While in Georgia he brought his love of music and performing to the field of broadcasting. 

Terrance is an Artistic Advisor for the Harlem Chamber Players and serves on the board of the Bagby Foundation and the MacDowell Colony.  He’s frequently sought out by major cultural organizations for his insight into the cultivation of diverse perspectives and voices in the cultural sphere. He regularly curates concerts and talks at Merkin Concert Hall, the Billie Holiday Theatre the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Museum of Modern Art.


Terrance McKnight appears in the following:

The Price of Admission: A Musical Biography of Florence Beatrice Price

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Host Terrance McKnight presents a one-hour program that explores the symphonic music, songs, works for piano and legacy of Florence Beatrice Price. 

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A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood: A Musical Journey Into the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work.

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A Radio Special: Mozart’s "Abduction from the Seraglio"

Thursday, August 17, 2023

In the prime of his illustrious career, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ran in the realm of prominent, Black visionaries. But after composing “Zaide,” an unfinished opera depicting a slave re...


A Radio Special: Verdi’s "Aida”

Thursday, August 10, 2023

At the heart of “Aida” is an African love story: the Ethiopian princess Aida is torn between loyalty to her country and passion for her captor, the Egyptian general Radamès, who loves...


A Radio Special: Verdi's "Otello"

Thursday, August 03, 2023

“Otello” debuted in Milan in 1887, just two years after European nations gathered in Berlin to agree on a campaign to carve up and colonize the African continent for their own profit....


A Radio Special: Mozart’s "The Magic Flute"

Thursday, July 27, 2023

In this radio special of “Every Voice with Terrance McKnight,” enjoy this season’s journey into Mozart’s "The Magic Flute," its investigation into the overlooked character of Monostat...


Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: Abduction from the Seraglio

Thursday, July 06, 2023

 In this final episode of the four-part radio series, host Terrance McKnight goes in search of opera’s future with composers, musicians, and thinkers of today.

Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: Aida

Monday, July 03, 2023

Terrance McKnight digs into the musical, historical, and social environment that gave rise to Verdi's Aida. 

Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: Otello

Monday, June 26, 2023

Considering the social and political atmosphere in which Verdi composed this opera, how do stereotypes of Black manhood show up in Otello’s story?

Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: The Magic Flute

Monday, June 19, 2023

In this episode of Every Voice, get to know the character of Monostatos, the enslaved overseer of the wizard Sarastro’s temple.

Abduction from the Seraglio: Revelations

Thursday, June 01, 2023

With such a dark past, what does the future look like for opera as an art form? From Verdi to Mozart, many of opera’s most celebrated works famously reduce people of African descent t...

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Abduction from the Seraglio: A Blind Eye

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio” was first heard in Vienna in 1782, commissioned by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II to cater to the German-speaking audience of the capital city...


Abduction from the Seraglio: Freedom and Justice for Some

Thursday, May 11, 2023

All too often, characters of African descent in operas written during the 18th and 19th centuries are defined as the institution of slavery and the idea of inferiority.  But today’s c...


Aida: America’s Confederates in Egypt

Thursday, May 04, 2023

When “Aida” premiered in Egypt in 1871, it delivered some not-so-subtle messaging in the dramatization of light-skinned Egyptians dominating dark-skinned Ethopians. Within two years, ...

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Joseph Boulogne – The Chevalier of Music and Revolution

Thursday, April 27, 2023

A look at the life and works of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. A contemporary of Mozart, Boulogne was a composer, violinist, conductor, and fencer! 

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Aida: 100% Egyptian Cotton

Thursday, April 27, 2023

“Opera has always been not just adjacent to colonial conquest, but perhaps … quite a large part of it.” Pranathi Diwakar, Every Voice with Terrance McKnight researcher. When the US an...


WQXR's New Podcast, 'Every Voice with Terrance McKnight'

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Season one of WQXR's new podcast 'Every Voice' dives into the history Blackness in Opera.

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Aida: Off the Chain

Thursday, April 20, 2023

At the heart of Verdi's opera “Aida” is an African love story, where an Egyptian general and an Ethiopian princess fall in love. It premiered in Cairo in 1871, but the truth is, very ...


Aida: Red Heart, White Eyes

Thursday, April 13, 2023

In Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida,” Princess Aida is torn between her homeland of Ethiopia (ruled by her father, King Amonasro) and her captor, the Egyptian leader Radamès who loves her and w...


Otello: The North Star

Thursday, April 06, 2023

As the one Black man in Shakespeare’s play and Verdi’s opera, Otello was not only tokenized, but villainized, criticized and minimized. With such an emphasis on Otello’s flaws, how is...

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