Friday, August 12, 2011
John Adams was one of the first major composers to take on the challenge of writing a work to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001. His Pulitzer Prize-winning work On the Transmigration of Souls is something of a sound collage, performed by orchestra and choirs along with pre-recorded ambient sound: we hear a voice reading names of people who were lost in the towers, the choirs singing reminiscences of their family members.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
For more than 500 years, Western classical music has used the requiem mass to bury the departed and console the living. Nearly 2,000 requiems have been written, to date — and that isn't even counting all the secular works meant to address the realities of death and mortality.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Sometimes the enormity of a moment is captured by something small — the details of the everyday take on new meaning. What do you remember from September 11, 2001 and its immediate aftermath? What memory or observation stands out, and why?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
At Q2 we’re devoted to championing the music of living composers and presenting it in the best possible way. But now we need your help and honest opinions. We want you to let us know what you like about Q2 and what we could do better.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Nico Muhly's Two Boys, which got its world premiere at English National Opera on Friday, was envisioned as part crime procedural, part online morality tale. Despite a choppy first act, Muhly's gripping music redeems this lurid tale.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Joining us from the BBC studios in London in advance of the world premiere of Two Boys, Nico Muhly also takes time to conduct us through a tour of the kaleidoscopic influences behind his already prodigious catalog.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Greetings from sunny (I’m not kidding, the sun never sets) Iceland! I’m spending my days at Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Greenhouse Studios, where, to my surprise, June Hammered! guest host Bruce Brubaker is recording Drones and Piano, Nico Muhly’s work for the same. I had NO idea Bruce was gonna be here. Q2 party up in Iceland! Come Wednesday, I’ll begin to record Daníel Bjarnason’s viola concerto-like-thing Sleep Variations, for solo viola, harp, percussion, and ten additional violas, all of which I will record, Mwah-ha-ha-ha.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Composer Nico Muhly's new album Seeing is Believing drops June 21, 2011, but until then you can hear it streaming 24/7 on-demand here as part of Q2's partnership with NPR Music's First Listen. Hear the entire album which features world premiere recordings from Thomas Gould and the London-based Aurora Orchestra as well as Muhly's ecstatic arrangements of choral works by William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Though New Yorkers will unfortunately have to wait until the Met Opera's 2013-2014 season to see a local production of Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher's staging of Nico Muhly's first opera, Two Boys (premiering in late June at the English National Opera), it seems like we're now more than ever bombarded with the dark and lurid issues that this complex, cautionary tale raises.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Q2 is listener-supported. Passionate about this great service and want to take a stand in support of new music? Become a Q2 listener-supporter and make a contribution to New York Public Radio today. And tell us why you listen to Q2. What is it about Q2 that gets your attention? What's valuable to you about Q2? Here are some highlights of our inaugural year.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
The symphony has undergone such transformation since it first emerged as a conventional form hundreds of years ago. Concluding Carnegie Hall's Spring for Music festival, Kent Nagano and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra explore the evolution of the symphony beginning with Giovanni Gabrieli's Sacrae Symphoniae for Brass and finishing with Anton Webern's Symphony, Op. 21. This evening, May 14 from 5 to 8pm, Q2 responds with our own take on this large-scale form as it has transformed into the twenty-first century.
Friday, May 13, 2011
This evening, Friday May 13 from 5 to 8 pm, Q2 continues work in tandem with WQXR's Spring for Music broadcast of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's performance with soprano, Dawn Upshaw. In addition to her role as a pedagogue and her career longevity as a singer, we draw inspiration from Upshaw's reputation for forging longstanding relationships with composers who have used her unique voice as their muse.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Artists have often used their art as a means of making sense of the horrors of war and taking a political stance: from Salvador Dalí's painting Face of War to Kryzstof Penderecki's string orchestra work Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. On May 12 as part of Carnegie Hall's Spring for Music Festival, the Oregon Symphony takes the stage and presents a program titled Music for a Time of War featuring cornerstone works by John Adams, Charles Ives, Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughn Williams.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Carnegie Hall's Spring for Music festival is designed to allow orchestras to flex their creative programming muscles and provide an outlet to think outside of the overture-concerto-symphony box. On May 11, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs Steven Stucky's August, 1964 in their Carnegie Hall debut.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Q2 continues to celebrate Carnegie Hall's Spring for Music Festival with this May 10 program from 5 to 8pm featuring the faculty of the Bard College Conservatory. Though New York City is home to some of the most prestigious American music schools, one should never overlook the fact that a mere one-hundred miles north, in tranquil Annandale-on-Hudson, is a school whose star-studded faculty list includes the likes of Dawn Upshaw, So Percussion, George Tsontakis, Jeremy Denk, David Krakauer, Joan Tower and members of the Guarneri Quartet.
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Tonight, Saturday May 7 from 5 to 8pm, Q2 continues Spring Fever with a sonically immersive primer for WQXR's upcoming live Carnegie Hall, Spring for Music broadcast of the Toledo Symphony performing works by André Previn and Dmitri Shostakovich.
Friday, May 06, 2011
This Friday from 5-8pm, in anticipation of WQXR's kick-off Spring For Music broadcast from Carnegie Hall featuring the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Q2 presents a Spring Fever spotlight on the evocative sound worlds of two featured composers, Aaron Jay Kernis and Paul Moravec. Q2 also turns over the microphone to the composers themselves, as they provide exclusive insights into their own works, from Moravec's Tempest Fantasy to Aaron Jay Kernis's String Quartet No. 2, "musica instrumentalis," both pieces awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music.
Monday, April 18, 2011
As part of our deep dive into the music of English composer Gavin Bryars, we offer on-demand insight and commentary on numerous pieces from the composer himself. Hear the exclusive introductions throughout Never Failed Me Yet followed by the related pieces or listen to the unabridged versions of the composer's commentary in our permanent archive below.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
A few weeks ago, Q2 and NPR Music launched a crowdsourced project to determine who were your favorite composers under the age of 40, and by extension those pieces which were shaping our contemporary musical scene and defining what it actually means to be a composer in the 21st century. On Facebook, Twitter and the aggregating pages on Q2 and NPR Music, an international array of comments poured in, reaching almost 800 suggestions in total. With much debate and awareness of such a list's limitations, we've narrowed the field down to 100 composers, each represented by one song, and are proud to present it here in a randomized stream.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Enjoy a collection of photographs provided by the composer himself of recent live performances, longtime collaborators and even members of the Bryars family - performers in their own right.