Press Room

105.9 WQXR, Q2, and The Greene Space – May news

In the coming weeks, Classical 105.9 WQXR presents an impressive line-up of live performances from New York’s top venues, with a live audio webcast of the Emerson String Quartet at (Le) Poisson Rouge (April 26), and live broadcasts from Jordi Savall at Lincoln Center (May 3) and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall (May 4).  Q2, the station’s 24-hour contemporary classical music stream, launches two new special series for May: an introduction to Ligeti and his landmark opera, Le Grand Macabre, featuring Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic (May 17-27), and a retrospective of Mexican classical music in honor of the nation’s bicentennial (May 24-28).

On May 5, WQXR will present a live video webcast of two up-and-coming ensembles – the Harlem String Quartet and M5 Brass Ensemble – performing live at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, WNYC/WQXR’s street-level, state-of-the-art broadcast studio and performance venue. The show will also be broadcast on May 26 on WQXR’s The McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase.

Upcoming highlights from 105.9 FM WQXR

On Monday, April 26 at 8pm, joins forces with NPR to present a live audio webcast of the Emerson String Quartet, winner of nine Grammy Awards and “one of the most impressive of American string quartets” (New York Times).  The live stream from Manhattan venue (Le) Poisson Rouge, emceed by Terrance McKnight and featuring the music of Bach, Beethoven, Barber, Janácek, and Dvorák, will be available at

With fellow anchor Fred Child, McKnight also hosts an NPR and APM collaboration on Monday, May 3 at 7:30pm, when WQXR presents a live broadcast of Jerusalem, City of Heavenly and Earthly Peace, the latest project from early music trailblazer Jordi Savall,” from Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in New York City. The Catalan director/performer will use religious songs, texts, chants, and instrumental arrangements to explore the way cultural traditions of the three major monotheistic religions have shaped the history of Jerusalem, from biblical times to the present day.  Joining the “performer of genius” (Alex Ross, New Yorker) are soprano Montserrat Figueras, Savall’s own vocal and instrumental ensembles, and a host of guest artists – both Israeli and Arabic – from the Middle East.

On Tuesday, May 4 at 8pm, WQXR presents a live broadcast of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s final Carnegie Hall season concert.  The ensemble, whose conductor-less playing has been described as a “delight” (Daily News), performs repertoire at which it excels: Stravinsky’s neoclassical Octet for winds and Beethoven’s Second Symphony, coupled with Bruch’s First Violin Concerto, which marks the Carnegie Hall debut of Japanese violin phenomenon Ryu Goto.  Praised by conductor Lorin Maazel as “a sterling violinist with impeccable technical credentials and personal musical flair,” Goto (Midori’s half-brother) accompanied Orpheus on its recent tour of Asia.

Also scheduled for May are two very special editions of Q2 with Terrance McKnight, a weekly program on 105.9 WQXR that serves as a radio companion to the Q2 webstream available at  The show airs Saturday nights and encores on Q2. On Saturday, May 1 at 10pm, McKnight will be joined by New York City Ballet’s Ballet-Master-in-Chief, Peter Martins, for a two-hour immersive tour of the company’s musical biography.  The New York City Ballet’s long tradition of commissioning new music dates back to co-founder George Balanchine’s collaborations with Stravinsky and Hindemith in the 1940s, and continues to the present day, with four new scores having been commissioned for the upcoming “Architecture of Dance – New Choreography and Music Festival”.  On Saturday, May 15 at 10pm, the program features an exclusive, gripping, two-hour interview with MacArthur “Genius” Award-winner Bill T. Jones, tracing his life through music.  The legendary artistic director, choreographer, and dancer reminisces about listening to B.B. King back in the days when he and his parents pulled potatoes as migrant workers; discovering Hendrix, Dylan, and Baez at college; sharing Streisand recordings with his late partner, Arnie Zane, with whom he would later found the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in New York; and the music that played as Zane died in his arms.

May sees the return of WQXR’s Chamber Music nights on Mondays from 9:30-11pm, with the launch of a new series of ten Concerts from the Frick, recorded live at the New York gallery this season.  Canadian Baroque ensemble Masques, “stylishly led from the harpsichord by Oliver Fortin” (San Francisco Classical Voice), leads the way on May 10; Czech Gramophone Award-winning string quartet Pavel Haas Quartet follows on May 17.  May 24 brings a recital from Armenian pianist Nareh Arghamanyan, winner of the 2008 Montreal International Music Competition; and the last of the month’s offerings, on May 31, is from violin and piano duo Augustin Hadelich and Rohan De Silva, whose Frick recital was pronounced “riveting” by the New Yorker’s Alex Ross; his glowing profile of the violinist concluded: “Here is a young artist with no evident limitations.”


May highlights from Q2

Q2, WQXR’s contemporary classical music stream, looks forward to the New York Philharmonic’s new staging of György Ligeti’s landmark opera, Le Grand Macabre, with a special series of Nadia Sirota on Q2 to air weekdays from Monday, May 17 until Thursday, May 27, when the production opens.  Though one of the most accessible and frequently performed contemporary operas, Ligeti’s seminal masterpiece has, remarkably, never before been heard in New York.  The Philharmonic’s Music Director, Alan Gilbert, and production director/designer Douglas Fitch shed light on the Hungarian composer and his only opera throughout the festival, with exclusive insights, comments, and sneak previews of what to expect from the production at Avery Fisher Hall throughout the series.  Filling in for regular host Sirota is Argentinean composer, conductor, and new-music devotee Sebastián Zubieta, whose insights help guide listeners through the series.

To honor the 2010 Mexican bicentennial, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the nation’s independence, Q2 presents a special series exploring the music of Mexico, hosted by Alondra de la Parra, Mexican-born founder and Artistic Director of the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas.  The first segment will air on May 24 at 8pm.  The series will trace the history of Mexico’s music and the development of its national musical identity, from the 19th-century composers who looked back to Europe for formal and expressive direction to the emergence of the Mexican avant-garde in the early 20th century, the younger generation of experimental composers this influenced, and today’s thriving musical scene, which embraces the complexities and promise of the digital age.

On Thursday, May 20 at 7:30pm, Q2 presents a live audio webcast of New Sounds Live from New York City’s Merkin Concert Hall.  Titled “New Songs”, the program explores new approaches to the art song, the form perfected by Schubert but currently evolving under the influence of rock, jazz, and minimalism.  The concert features eclectic singer/pianist/composer Gabriel Kahane, the self-described “bastard child of Alban Berg and Rufus Wainwright,” whose “gentle, smoky baritone and heartfelt delivery mesmerized an audience that filled the room to busting,” according to the New York Times after a recent performance.  The program also boasts a commissioned work from Brooklyn-based pop/rock trio Elizabeth and the Catapult, favorites of New York’s downtown club scene, and a set by jazz-trained singer/pianist Ed Pastorini.

On Friday, May 7, Q2 will record the opening concert of 2010’s annual Look & Listen Festival for a webcast on May 21 at 8pm.  The concert features Grammy Award-winning sextet eighth blackbird performing the world premiere of the festival’s first commission by Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez, plus music by Missy Mazzoli.  The Jack Quartet, “perhaps the single most intrepidly experimental quartet on the horizon” (Philadelphia Inquirer), presents world and New York premieres from Hannah Lash and Caleb Burhans, respectively; and pianist Jade Simmons, the Concert Artist Guild’s “New Music/New Places Fellow”, performs John Corigliano.  All five composers will be on hand to give interviews to WNYC’s John Schaefer, who will host the concert. 

On Monday, May 31, Q2 continues its series of Composer Introductions, with a weeklong focus on the work of Christopher Tignor.  Tignor is best known as the bandleader of New York’s Slow Six, for which he composed and created his signature software instruments; the group has been described as “a five-piece collective whose mesmerizing experimental music is a true classical/rock mashup” (  Composer Introductions will showcase Tignor’s music with a free, limited-time download; an account of his work by the composer himself; and regular programming of his music all week on Q2.  Previous subjects have included Caleb Burhans, Missy Mazzoli, and Valentin Silvestrov, and South African composer and William Kentridge collaborator Philip Miller was featured at the end of April.

May highlight from The Greene Space

On Wednesday, May 5, The McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase, hosted by Robert Sherman, will present two up-and-coming new groups – the Harlem String Quartet, comprised of First Place Laureates of the Sphinx Competition, and the M5 Brass Ensemble – performing live at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, WNYC/WQXR’s street-level, state-of-the-art broadcast studio and performance venue.  The program’s debut event in The Greene Space will be streamed via live video webcast on  and for audiences from around the city and around the globe to enjoy. Additionally, the program will air on 105.9 WQXR on May 26 at 9pm. Showcase airs weekly on WQXR and has been discovering and displaying the talents of emerging young artists since 1978.


A full list of programming highlights, ordered chronologically, follows below.

WQXR, Q2, and The Greene Space: upcoming programming highlights:

Monday, April 26 at 8pm
Emerson String Quartet is at (Le) Poisson Rouge, NYC: live audio webcast (WQXR)
Saturday, May 1 at 10pm
Q2 with Terrance McKnight features a musical biography of New York City Ballet with Peter Martins (WQXR)
Monday, May 3 at 7:30pm
Jordi Savall presents Jerusalem at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, NYC: live broadcast (WQXR)
Tuesday, May 4 at 8pm
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is at Carnegie Hall, NYC with Ryu Goto: live broadcast (WQXR)
Wednesday, May 5 at 7pm
McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase: live video webcast (TGS)
Monday, May 10 at 9:30pm
Concerts from the Frick featuring Masques (WQXR)
Saturday, May 15 at 10pm
Q2 with Terrance McKnight features Bill T. Jones in conversation, examining his autobiography through music (WQXR)
Monday, May 17 at 9:30pm
Concerts from the Frick featuring Pavel Haas Quartet (WQXR)
Monday, May 17 – Thursday, May 27, weekdays 12am/12pm (series)
Nadia Sirota on Q2 introduces Ligeti’s Grand Macabre with Alan Gilbert and Douglas Fitch (Q2)
Thursday, May 20 at 7:30pm
New Sounds Live presents “New Songs” at Merkin Concert Hall, NYC: live audio webcast (Q2)
Friday, May 21 at 8pm
Look & Listen Festival presents eighth blackbird etc. at Chelsea Art Museum, NYC: webcast (Q2)
Monday, May 24 at 9:30pm
Concerts from the Frick featuring Nareh Arghamanyan (WQXR)
Monday, May 24 – Friday, May 28, 8am/8pm (series)
Alondra de la Parra explores classical music of Mexico (Q2)
Wednesday, May 26 at 9pm
McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase broadcast of The Greene Space event (WQXR)
Monday, May 31 at 9:30pm
presents Concerts from the Frick featuring Hadelich / De Silva (WQXR)
Monday, May 31 throughout the week (series)
Composer Introductions features Christopher Tignor (Q2)

#   #   #   #   #


WNYC Radio is New York’s premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYC FM, WNYC AM, and WQXR, as well as and As America’s most listened-to AM/FM public radio stations, reaching more than one million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City’s cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. Classical 105.9 WQXR is New York City’s sole 24-hour classical music station, presenting new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic, among other New York City venues, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. In addition to its audio content, WNYC produces content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space.  For more information about WNYC, visit

Q2, available at, is a music stream dedicated to exploring contemporary composers and the modern classical music movement.  Q2 offers not only recordings by some of the most passionate and plugged-in musical minds of today, but also notable live events from venues around New York, including WNYC’s newly-opened broadcast studio and performance venue, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and (L)e Poisson Rouge. Q2 may also be accessed through iTunes or on WQXR 105.9’s HD Channel 2.


For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Houlihan, WNYC/WQXR: [email protected], (646) 829-4497

Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group: [email protected], (212) 625-2038

#          #          #

Return to Press Room