The Brothers Balliett

Streams Thursdays at 3 pm and Sundays at 8 pm on Q2 Music

Brad Balliett and Doug Balliett — identical twin composers and performers from Massachusetts — have been performing together and collaborating for nearly thirty years. As bassoonist and double bassist (respectively) they perform as a duo and with groups all around New York, including the new music ensembles Deviant Septet, Metropolis Ensemble, Argento, Signal, and Alarm Will Sound, with chamber ensembles The Declassified and Ensemble ACJW, with symphonies such as Handel & Haydn and the Hartford Symphony, and a host of other diverse ensembles.

Dedicated rappers, the brothers, along with Elliot Cole, make up The Oracle Hysterical and create pioneering hip-hoperas, rap cantatas, poperas, and so forth. Performances of these works have taken them around the world. 

The Balliett brothers are fiercely competitive and work tirelessly to one-up each other. This drive creates a self-fueling passion to write the best work, listen to the best music, and learn as much as possible. They are thrilled to be joining Q2 Music's roster of personalities.

The Brothers Balliett have a ten-point Manifesto which will guide this show:

1. We are the Brothers Balliett.

2. We believe that the best music is the music that excites the best curiosity, excitement, passion and conversation.

3. We believe in music that bears repeated listening and offers something new with each visitation.

4. We believe that stretching the ear is a way to stretch the mind.

5. We believe in the continually ceaseless creativity of composers everywhere.

6. We believe that music must reflect the time in which it was written, and that all eras deserve representation.

7. We believe that great nations should strive to attract and support great artists.

8. We believe in absolute artistic freedom, unfettered by trend or dogma.

9. We believe that the power of ideas, creativity, and personality can shape a city's character.

10. We believe in the groove.

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Latest Episode / Thursday, August 13, 2015 Edit This

The Trombone, Redefined

Are you hungering for some fresh and imaginative pieces that feature the trombone, that most unusual of brass instruments? Join the Brothers Balliett Thursday at 3 pm.

New Classics of the Wind Quintet Repertoire

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Do you think the woodwind quintet is played out? This week, the Brothers Balliett set out to restore your faith in this unusual combination with some amazing contemporary works.

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Boundary-Smashing String Quartets from NYC and Beyond

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What could be a better mid-summer treat than a survey of some of the most exciting string quartets working the field today? Join the Brothers Balliett Thursday at 3 pm.

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Harrison Birtwistle's 'Gawain,' Part 3

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett delve back into the world of Arthurian legend with the third and final installment of Harrison Birtwistle's brilliant opera Gawain.

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Harrison Birtwistle's 'Gawain,' Part 2

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett continue to explore one of opera's most exciting works from the last 25 years: Harrison Birtwistle's "Gawain." Listen today at 3 pm.

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Gawain: Part 1

Thursday, July 09, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett launch a three-part series focused on Harrison Birtwistle's masterpiece-of-an-Arthurian opera 'Gawain.'

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For Ages Q2 Through Q12

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Gather the whole family around the speakers and put on Q2 Music – this week's show features three works geared for the younger crowd of up-and-coming new music fans.

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How Do We Write a Song Today?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The art song tradition is as alive and well as ever, from Rihm to Roche. Thursday at 3, the Brothers Balliett take a look at the kinds of songs composers are producing today.

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Guerilla Composer Portrait: Nancy Van Der Vate

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Continuing their series of composer portraits without alerting the "portraitees" ahead of time, the Brothers Balliett explore the music of ex-pat composer Nancy Van Der Vate.

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The Goldberg Variations Variations

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Musicians and audiences have long been delighted by Bach's Goldberg Variations, but what about composers? This week, the Brothers Balliett investigate modern takes on the work.

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The Brothers Balliett Talk To Lembit Beecher

Thursday, June 04, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett sit down to chat with Beecher, whose output is characterized by investigations of memory, ecology, time and place, and his own Estonian heritage.

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Chamber Industrial

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nothing like the sounds and overwhelming senses that come with summer to remind us all what city life is all about. Join the Brothers this week for Industrial Chamber music.

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A Little Night Music

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ever since John Field invented the Nocturne in the early 19th-century, composers have been clamoring the get a piece of the action.This week, The Brothers play Night Music.

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The Brothers Balliett talk to Jason Eckardt

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This week, the Brothers Balliett talk to composer Jason Eckardt! From his roots as a metal guitarist to his recent appointment at Peabody, Eckardt's is a career worth exploring.

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Varieties of Religious Experience

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Who can say what goes on in the mind of a composer who sets out to depict his innermost religious thoughts and experiences? This week, The Brothers listen to works of faith.

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Differenz/Wiederholung

Thursday, April 30, 2015

To any fan of Bernhard Lang, the words Differenz/Wiederholung conjure up a whole world of groove and uptown funk. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.

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Krazy for Kairos

Thursday, April 23, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett sample music from Austria's Kairos label, including performances of Klaus Lang and Beat Furrer. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.

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Songs of the Earth and Sea

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What do composers Alan Hovhaness, David Maslanka and Beat Furrer havein common? For one thing, they all wrote music inspired by the 'songs' they heard within the sea and the earth.  

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The Chinese Show

Thursday, April 09, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett take a look at two exciting composers who have at least one thing in common – they both hail from China. 

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Who Exactly is Saying That A Mass Has to Have Words?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

More and more composers are retaining the old, beautiful, ritualistic form of the liturgical Mass, but jettisoning certain aspects to keep it fresh. Like, for instance, the words.

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Wait, WHAT Instrument is That??

Thursday, March 19, 2015

This week, the Brothers Balliett listen to composers who use extended techniques and bizarre instruments to achieve new and unusual sounds.

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