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:

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, ...

Comments [1]

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! 

Comments [4]

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 Diwaker, 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.

Comments [2]

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

“Aida” is an African love story, so, why are the Egyptians white?


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...

Comments [1]

Otello: Black Handkerchiefs Matter

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Giuseppe Verdi's Otello rose from enslavement to the ranks of army general and marries an aristocratic Venetian woman. It’s difficult  to imagine the rich cultural heritage of Otello’...

Comments [2]

Otello: Haters

Thursday, March 23, 2023

This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, we go deeper into Giuseppe Verdi's character of the “Moor of Venice." Otello is a celebrated general in the Venetian army, and as a Bl...

Comments [2]


Thursday, March 16, 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....

Comments [1]

The Magic Flute: Recycling

Thursday, March 09, 2023

The use of blackface is a dying trend, but it was fundamental to one of the most popular operas of all time, Mozart’s hit comedic opera, “The Magic Flute“. Over the last few decades a...


Celebrating Terrance McKnight’s ‘Every Voice’ Podcast

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Terrance McKnight, evening host on WQXR, unearths the hidden voices that shape our musical traditions in the new podcast "Every Voice with Terrance McKnight.” 

The Magic Flute: He Said, She Said

Thursday, March 02, 2023

In Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Monostatos is smitten by the white princess Pamina, whom he is supposed to be guarding under the orders of the high priest Sarastro. His desire to love ...


The Magic Flute: Invisible Man

Thursday, February 23, 2023

At over 200 years old, “The Magic Flute” remains a classic opera which continues to be taught, studied, and performed in sold-out venues around the world. But with more than two centu...

Comments [2]

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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.

Comments [55]

The Magic Flute: From Morehouse … to the opera house with Monostatos

Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Moorish character Monostatos in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” is one of the most famous representations of Blackness in opera - a genre with limited representation of characters of A...

Comments [3]

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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

Comments [28]

How Singer Marian Anderson Dominated the Global Stage

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Throughout her career, American contralto Marian Anderson performed a repertoire well ahead of her time.