Elliott Forrest


Elliott Forrest is the weekday afternoon host on WQXR. 

On top of providing the soundtrack to your evening commute and The Score at Four, he’s also the national host of the weekly concerts from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and hosted more than 60 concerts on stage at Carnegie Hall.

On top of providing the soundtrack to your afternoon/evening commute and movie music during The Score at Four, Forrest is also the national host of the weekly concerts from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and hosted more than 60 concerts on stage at Carnegie Hall. For 6 years he directed the annual NY Public Radio productions of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

He’s hosted, produced and directed specials for PBS Television, including the oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard and The Classical Comedy Contest from Carolines. For 12 years he was the host of A&E Television’s Breakfast with the Arts. For more than 20 years he’s been associated with Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach), appearing on stage with him and on his recordings.

Elliott regularly produces live events around the country, including at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Boston’s Symphony Hall and The Jerome L. Greene Space. He is the recipient of a George Foster Peabody Award and two Excellence in Broadcasting Awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association.

What made you fall in love with classical music: I hit a new level of love and appreciation with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. When I latched onto the Sultan’s theme, so bombastic at the start and mellow at the end, I came to understand the storytelling power of music.   

Music-related obsession: In my spare time, I create large visual elements like video, animations and images to go along with classical music. I loved Disney’s Fantasia from a little kid and it has inspired me ever since to marry visuals to music.


Elliott Forrest appears in the following:

Meryl Streep Explains Our Fascination with Florence Foster Jenkins

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The stars of the movie 'Florence Foster Jenkins' talked to Elliott Forrest about this infamous tone-deaf opera singer. 

Comments [15]

Did Gershwin Get His ‘Rhythm’ from African-American Composer William Grant Still?

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Tony-nominated musical "Shuffle Along" posits that George Gershwin found one of his most famous themes while watching the original 1921 production. Elliott Forrest investigates.
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Comments [7]

Alan Silvestri on 'Back to the Future,' 'Forrest Gump' and His Hollywood Break

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The filmmaker Robert Zemeckis has called Alan Silvestri his "creative soulmate" – a fitting description for the composer who has scored his films including "Back to the Future."
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Comments [3]

Sharon Isbin on Gay Marriage, Bach and Protecting Her Hands

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sharon Isbin's resume is a long list of groundbreaking firsts. In an interview with WQXR's Elliott Forrest, the guitarist expresses her hope for another first this year.
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Comments [7]

Renée Fleming Sends Up Opera World in 'Living on Love'

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Soprano Renée Fleming—who has worked in the worlds of opera, indie rock and even a Super Bowl — is opening next week on the Broadway. She spoke with Elliott Forrest backstage.
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Comments [2]

Where to Find Young Orchestra Audiences? Try a 'Lord of the Rings' Concert

Thursday, April 09, 2015

"For all the talk of the graying classical audience, this enthusiastic crowd was as diverse in age and ethnicity as I've seen in a long time," writes host Elliott Forrest.
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Comments [7]

New York Philharmonic Names Joshua Gersen Assistant Conductor

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Less than three weeks after the New York Philharmonic announced that Alan Gilbert will be leaving the orchestra, another podium-related announcement landed on Wednesday.
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Comments [3]

Enough of Handel's Messiah? Try One by Monty Python's Eric Idle

Monday, December 15, 2014

Eric Idle, the famous member of the absurdist-comedy collective Monty Python, talks with WQXR's Elliott Forrest about his work in comedy and classical music.
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Comments [3]

Holocaust Opera The Passenger to Make Its NY Debut at Park Avenue Armory

Thursday, July 10, 2014

WQXR's Elliott Forrest spoke with Patrick Summers of the Houston Grand Opera, who is conducting this production, about the work's belated New York premiere.

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Comments [1]

Mark O'Connor's Prized Violin Damaged in Backstage Accident

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Mark O'Connor dropped his fiddle as he was getting ready to go on stage Monday night in Sioux Falls, SD, causing several major cracks in the wood. He tells Elliott Forrest how it happened.

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Commentary: When 'Dancing with the Stars' Gets Classical

Monday, April 30, 2012

This week, one of the hottest shows on TV today, "Dancing with the Stars," has embraced classical music for the second year in a row. Elliott Forrest thinks it's a good thing.

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Comments [7]

A Musical Movable Feast

Friday, January 13, 2012

A new organization is bringing chamber music to informal venues around the city, including restaurants, cafés and wine bars. Elliott Forrest reports from a former auto-repair shop.

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Comments [8]

Listening to the Royal Wedding Music

Friday, April 29, 2011

WQXR's Elliott Forrest talks with Kerry Nolan about the music played at this morning's Royal wedding.

Comments [1]

Two Broadway Shows: Which One is More Offensive?

Saturday, April 02, 2011

This last Wednesday I attended The Book Of Mormon, the new Broadway musical from the team who created South Park. Then on Thursday I saw the current revival of the classic musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying staring Daniel Radcliffe, of Harry Potter fame. Just for fun I’d like to compare the two and make the case that How To Succeed is the more offensive of the two.

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Comments [8]

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Friday, February 11, 2011

We are playing classical music from a Saturday Morning Cartoon today at 9:00 am. The music is Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. It has been used most memorably in Rhapsody Rabbit, a Bug's Bunny Warner Brother's cartoon from 1946:
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Comments [31]

Classical Super Bowl Commercials

Friday, February 04, 2011

In advance of this weekend's game, we’ve identified some current and previous Super Bowl ads that prominently feature symphonic music. Have a look and tell us why classical music is o...
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Comments [20]

A Classical Trove on YouTube

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ok, I admit it. One of my guilty pleasures is getting lost on YouTube. While I hear most of America zeros in on cats doing funny things or the latest teenager doing something stupid, I find myself drawn to old TV shows. How could you not watch Salvador Dali on What's My Line? These clips give us a window into a different time and culture and there’s plenty about classical music to watch.

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Comments [14]

The Modern Radio Drama

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This holiday season WQXR and WNYC are broadcasting a radio drama version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with David Hyde Pierce as Scrooge and many of your favorite public radio hosts as narrators and characters. Composer John Forster played piano and A Prairie Home Companion's Fred Newman performed stunning live sound effects.

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Comments [11]

Just Say No

Saturday, December 11, 2010

As the New Year approaches, people always talk about their resolutions, primarily what they plan to do. But what about what you plan not to do? I saw a piece on the news about a woman who was encouraging mothers not to volunteer so much! Horrors! Seems like a very non-PC thing to say, but what with PTA, non-profits, religious and other volunteer organizations, people are finding less time for their themselves, family and friends.

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Comments [7]

Synesthesia, Scriabin and Seeing Music

Friday, October 22, 2010

Author and professor Daniel Levitin unpacks synesthesia and Scriabin.

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