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'Hi, I'm Nico Muhly...'

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. 

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Postcards to the Internauts

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.

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Listen Now: Seeing is Believing

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.

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Two Boys Provoking Debate

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. 

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New Music Champions Unite!

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.

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Spring Fever: Symphonic Metamorphosis

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.

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Spring Fever: Dawn Upshaw, Soprano and Muse

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.

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Spring Fever: Music in Time of War

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.

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Spring Fever: Pulitzer Prize Winners

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.

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Spring Fever: Bard College

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.

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Spotlight: Previn and Shostakovich

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.

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Spotlight: Aaron Jay Kernis and Paul Moravec

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.

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Gavin Bryars Introduces

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.

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100 Composers Under 40

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.

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Gavin Bryars Photo Diary

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.

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Jesus' Blood

Friday, April 15, 2011

While filming material for a 1971 documentary by Gavin Bryars’s friend Alan Power focused on people living in impoverished areas in London, the filmmaker crossed paths with a singing vagrant who offered an improvised and affecting profession of faith with the words "Jesus' blood never failed me yet..."

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Gavin Bryars: Never Failed Me Yet

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Each day from April 14-20, Q2 spotlights the mind and music of composer Gavin Bryars. Explore the many different aspects of a style informed by jazz, minimalism, Renaissance polyphony and constant experimentation.

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Lend Us Your Voice

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What are your thoughts on the music of Gavin Bryars? Are there pieces your fellow listeners should look out for? How would you describe his style? Perhaps you remember exactly where you were the first time you heard Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet? Have you performed his music? What stories about the man or his music would you like to share? Q2 wants to know. 

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Attention All New Music Lovers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NPR Music and Q2 want you to help us program a special music stream featuring composers under 40! Send us the names of your favorite composers, and, if you have specific favorite albums or pieces, let us know.

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Announcing Cued Up: Spring 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

This week, Q2 launches the 13-week Spring 2011 season of our flagship show, Cued Up, with the first encore presentation of one of the more mesmerizing evenings in our recent live Webcast history.

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