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WQXR’s “American Orchestras: An Endangered Species?”

Times are troubling for American orchestras: The Philadelphia Orchestra just declared bankruptcy. The Detroit Symphony is emerging from a bruising six-month strike. The orchestras of Honolulu and Syracuse folded in recent months. Music-lovers read the headlines and are left wondering: “What’s the prognosis for my local orchestra?” But while many American ensembles face great challenges, a hopeful note can be found amongst those that are exploring new models of presentation, recording, and community engagement.

On Tuesday, May 3 at 7pm, Classical 105.9 FM WQXR, New York City’s classical station, will host a conversation entitled “American Orchestras: An Endangered Species?”. Seeking to explore some of the vexing issues faced by American orchestras and to pose possible solutions, the event will be held at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR as part of its “NEXT New York Conversation” series. It is timed to kick off WQXR’s live broadcasts of Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music, a nine-day festival celebrating the innovative presentation and programming of seven orchestras from around the country.

“American Orchestras: An Endangered Species?” will feature four orchestral professionals who grapple with these issues each day: Anne Parsons, president and executive director of the Detroit Symphony; Alan Pierson, artistic director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic; Eric Jacobson, co-artistic director of The Knights; and Tony Woodcock, president of the New England Conservatory. Graham Parker, vice president of WQXR, who previously served as executive director of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and general manager of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, will moderate the discussion.

Tickets to the event at The Greene Space are free, but reservations are required.  Further information can be found and reservations made at

Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music, which runs from May 6 – 14, is an adventurous showcase featuring seven distinctive and innovative ensembles: the Albany, Dallas, Montreal, Oregon, and Toledo symphony orchestras, and the Orpheus and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras. WQXR will broadcast and stream each concert at 8pm on 105.9 FM and The programs’ hosts – WQXR’s Elliott Forrest and American Public Media’s (APM) Fred Child – will be joined by music hosts, critics and other commentators from the orchestras’ hometowns During the broadcasts, a live interactive web chat, hosted at and carried by NPR Music, will allow audiences to engage with the program participants and each other.  APM will present the concerts live nationally on Classical Live. Full details about WQXR’s live series can be found at

WQXR presents “American Orchestras: An Endangered Species?”
Tuesday, May 3 at 7pm
The Greene Space at WQXR
44 Charlton Street (at Varick Street)
New York, NY 10014
Free admission, reservation required

Live video webstream at; live broadcast at 105.9 FM WQXR.


New York Public Radio is New York’s premier public radio franchise, comprising WQXR, WNYC and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, as well as, and Classical 105.9 FM 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, the New York Philharmonic, and the city’s top venues, immersing listeners in a rich musical life. As America’s most listened-to AM/FM news and talk public radio station, reaching 1.1 million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City’s cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and it presents the best national offerings from networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. In addition to its audio content, WQXR and WNYC produce 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 New York Public Radio, visit


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