Helga Davis

Host

Helga Davis served as a principle actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. Her appearance in You Us We All by Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond) and Andrew Ondrejcak marked her fifth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival.

Helga is a New York-based performer whose interdisciplinary work includes theater, opera, and fine art. Since 2012 Davis has starred in the international revival of composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson's opera Einstein on the Beach; Wilson describes her as “a united whole, with spellbinding inner power and strength.”

She also starred in Wilson’s The Temptation of St. Anthony, with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon (Sweet Honey in the Rock); Milton by Katie Pearl and Lisa Damour; Elsewhere by cellist Maya Beiser and composer Missy Mazzoli; The Blue Planet, a multimedia theater piece, by Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke; and served as a “Sweet Peach” in Soho Rep’s Jomama Jones, Radiate, which made New Yorker theatre critic Hilton Als’ top ten list.

Helga’s interview with artist Kara Walker aired on WNYC's Morning Edition on the eve of her Whitney Museum retrospective. She wrote and performed a multimedia piece Imaginings at the retrospective’s conclusion.

She is the recipient of the BRIC Fireworks grant and has completed her first full-length theatre piece, Cassandra. Davis may be heard on the new VIA Records release, Oceanic Verses, a multi-media opera written for her by composer Paola Prestini. In Fall 2015, Davis performed in her fifth Next Wave festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Shara (Nova) Worden and Andrew Ondrejcak’s You Us We All.

She hosts the Helga podcast, live events for New Sounds and formerly for WQXR’s Q2 Music, and was awarded an ASCAP Multimedia Award for hosting WNYC's 24:33: Twenty-Four Hours and Thirty-Three Minutes of the Playful and Playable John Cage.

Helga Davis appears in the following:

Holding Gentrification: Toshi Reagon on What it Means to Build and Unbuild Brooklyn

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon's "Brooklyn Bound" offers a honest and poetic musical look at gentrification in Crown Heights. Watch the second of our "Silent Voices" documentaries.

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My Body as Me: Kamala Sankaram Shows Us How to Keep the Look Loose

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus recently created space for conversation about social justice through commissioning ten new works. We dive into one: Kamala Sankaram's "Keeping the Look Loose."

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Encore Stream: Einojuhani Rautavaara Commemorative Marathon

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Q2 Music commemorates the passing of Einojuhani Rautavaara, with a 12-hour marathon stream of music by the great Finnish composer. Today at 4 pm and Saturday at 10 am.

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Interview: Beth Morrison on Prototype and Harnessing Creative Passion

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The annual Prototype festival of new opera returns to New York this week. Creative producer Beth Morrison joins Helga Davis to discuss her professional path and the value of community.

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A World Apärt: 24-Hour Arvo Pärt Marathon

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Celebrate the 80th birthday of Arvo Pärt today with an encore stream of A World Apärt: a 24-hour survey of one of the most revolutionary voices of the 21st century.

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Raised Voices: 24 Hours to Satisfy Your Choral Fixation

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Join us all day today (Jan 30) for an encore presentation of Raised Voices:  24 hours of today's wild and ravishingly beautiful music for vocal and choral ensemble.

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Finn-to-Finn: 24-Hour Marathons of Einojuhani Rautavaara and Kaija Saariaho

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

All day today, we celebrate the upcoming birthday of influential Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho with a 24-hour survey of her music, hosted by Phil Kline.

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Ecstatic Music Festival Curator Judd Greenstein Previews 2014 Lineup

Monday, January 27, 2014

Today at 1 pm, Q2 Music presents a one-hour special hosted by Helga Davis outlining the upcoming 2014 Ecstatic Music Festival with commentary by festival curator Judd Greenstein.

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Celebrating Poland: An Overview

Thursday, October 10, 2013

This year marks the centenary of Polish composer Witold Lutosławski, and the 80th birthday of Krzysztof Penderecki. Today, join Q2 Music for an all-day marathon examining the diversit...

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Helga Davis Escapes from Sharks and Jumps from Cars

Friday, April 05, 2013

The Best for the Worst concludes with its final episode as host Helga Davis (Einstein on the Beach) presents the soundtrack for survival stories about . Today at 3 pm on Q2 Music.

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Helga Davis and When the Worst Could Actually Happen

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Best for the Worst continues with its penultimate episode as host Helga Davis (Einstein on the Beach) presents the soundtrack for survival stories of when the worst actually happe...

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Helga Davis Finds Broken Things in 'The Best for the Worst'

Friday, March 22, 2013

Our five part series "The Best for the Worst" presents readings from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook and insights from Einstein on the Beach principal Davis herself along wi...

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Helga Davis Gets Lost After Leaping in 'The Best for the Worst'

Friday, March 15, 2013

In episode two of the five-part series The Best for the Worst, host Helga Davis (Einstein on the Beach) talks what happens when you get lost after your leap of faith. Music by Martin ...

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Helga Davis Talks Survival in 'The Best for the Worst'

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Vocalist and Einstein on the Beach principal Helga Davis hosts The Best for the Worst – a five-part series that offers a soundtrack to the hugely popular, absurdist Worst-Case Scenari...

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Notes from the Beach with Einstein's Helga Davis

Friday, August 31, 2012

About a week ago I got on the subway at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue and saw it — the advertisement for Einstein on the Beach which will be part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival.

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On-Demand Webcast from the Temple of Dendur

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Wordless Music Orchestra marked the 9/11 anniversary at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sunday with a reflective program of Schnittke, Golijov, Ingram Marshall and William Basi...

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Signs of the Times

Monday, November 22, 2010

I finally know what it is...

The birds are gone.

It was their song that welcomed me into each Spring day and the absence of their melodies has finally caught my attention.

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A Little You, A Little Me

Monday, April 26, 2010

The streets of my Harlem village offer me the sights and sounds of the world. On my block alone, there’s a Mosque, a Baptist church, a Pentecostal church, a Masonic Temple, and The Church of Latter Day Saints right there on Lenox Avenue. The Senegalese drummers wake me at dawn each Monday morning with their dance, and their offerings give rise to the incense vendors who pause five times a day and offer the most beautiful music through the hum of traffic and cries of the sliced mango vendors from Mexico.

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