Helga Davis

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.

Among the many works written for her are Faust's Box, written and directed by acclaimed Italian contemporary music composer Andrea Liberovici; Oceanic Verses by Paola Prestini, with libretto by Donna DiNovelli and video by Ali Houssani; Elsewhere by Missy Mazzoplli and Maya Beiser; and The Blue Planet, a multi-media theater piece written by Peter Greenaway and directed by Saskia Boddeke. She was also the co-star of The Temptation of St. Anthony directed by Robert Wilson, with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock.  

Recently, Davis performed Yet Unheard by Courtney Bryan at Cooper Union, a work based on the poem by Sharan Strange and performed on the first anniversary of Bland's death. Her work First Responder was conceived and performed at MassMoCA this fall after an invitation to respond to Nick Cave's Until.

In 2008, Helga joined New York Public Radio to host overnight music and won an ASCAP Multimedia Award for her work on WNYC’s 24:33 – an all-day festival of composer John Cage’s recorded music, interviews and live performances. In 2009, she transitioned to Q2 Music, and has been the channel’s primary host for live concerts and interviews in The Greene Space at WQXR. In addition, she has hosted live shows and conducted conversations with Pulitzer Prize-winning composers including John Luther Adams, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, as well as with Cornel West, Kronos Quartet, and the 2015-2016 artists-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and served as a repeat commentator for WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs. 

Davis begins 2017 with long-time collaborator Daniel Alexander Jones on a new piece for his alter ego, Jomama Jones at the Black Light Festival in Minneapolis, as well as perform in a new work, Texts and Beheadings, with Yale School of Drama professor Karin Coonrod. She is also working on her second production with Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon, The Parable of the Sower, based on the novel by Octavia E. Butler.

Among her many accolades, David Keenan, of Wire Magazine, describes Ms. Davis as “a powerful vocalist with an almost operatic range and all the bruised sensuality of Jeanne Lee," while Robert Wilson writes "Helga Davis is a beautiful, natural performer with an inner power and strength that is truly unique. She combines voice and movement in a united whole that is spellbinding. Her genius in her stillness and quietness evoke a very deep emotion. She is radiant in every way."

Shows:

Helga Davis appears in the following:

Singer-Songwriter Solange on Her Journey, Owning Her Body and Art

Monday, December 05, 2016

The pop star singer-songwriter Solange talks with Helga Davis about finding autonomy in the music business and about being black and beautiful in contemporary America.

Comment

Violinist Jennifer Koh Discusses Determination and Empathy

Monday, November 28, 2016

Violin soloist Jennifer Koh has never cancelled a gig. Even when she had swine flu. Host Helga Davis speaks with Koh about determination and empathy in this episode of the Helga podcast.

Comments [2]

Jazz Icon Henry Threadgill Lets His Imagination Run Wild

Monday, November 21, 2016

Recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize, jazz composer Henry Threadgill talks with Helga about giving license to your imagination and pushing yourself to go beyond excellence to greatness.

Comments [2]

My Brightest Diamond's Shara Nova Leans into Vulnerability

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Singer, composer and My Brightest Diamond's frontwoman Shara Nova talks to Helga about choosing a new city, leaning into vulnerability, and how her new names translates to "new song."

Comment

'Helga' Podcast Premieres with Opera Director Peter Sellars

Monday, November 14, 2016

Q2 Music's new podcast, Helga, features probing conversations with artists who have a unique voice and a stake in the matter of social change. The first guest is director Peter Sellars.

Comment

New Podcast 'Helga' Spotlights Diverse Voices

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Get an advance listen today to Q2 Music's newest podcast, Helga, a show featuring conversations with diverse, uncompromising and socially conscious artists across the creative spectrum.

Comment

Watch: Brooklyn Youth Chorus Celebrates 25th Anniversary Season

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Watch a live video-stream of the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus celebrating the launch of its 25th anniversary season with music by Jeff Beal, Nico Muhly and Caroline Shaw.

Comments [2]

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.

Comment

Watch: Yale School of Music Premieres Works by David Lang and Hannah Lash

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 25 at 7 pm, watch a live videostream of a special edition of the Yale School of Music's new-music series, New Music New Haven, from The Greene Space at WQXR.

Comments [1]

Listen: 16 World Premieres with Jennifer Koh's 'Shared Madness'

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Listen to violinist Jennifer Koh's exploration of virtuosity in the 21st century with 16 world premieres from dynamic, celebrated composers live from National Sawdust.

Comment

Watch: Peter Sellars and Friends from The Greene Space

Monday, May 09, 2016

Watch a live videostream of a conversation with opera director Peter Sellars and performances by Ojai Festival musicians as recorded at The Greene Space at WQXR on May 13.

Comment

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.

Comment

Listen: Arvo Pärt at 80 with New Juilliard Ensemble

Friday, September 11, 2015

Listen to the archived audio of the Met Museum's all-Arvo Pärt concert featuring chamber works performed by the New Juilliard Ensemble.

Comments [2]

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.

Comments [32]

Watch: NOW Ensemble Unveils New Album 'Dreamfall'

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday, June 15 at 7 pm, indie-classical standard-bearers NOW Ensemble celebrated the release of their latest album "Dreamfall" with a performance live from The Greene Space.

Comment

Watch: Bang on a Can All-Stars Unveil 'Field Recordings'

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Watch the archived performance of "Field Recordings," the latest album from the Bang on a Can All-Stars, live from The Greene Space.

Comment

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.

Comments [3]

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.

Comments [3]

On-Demand Video: Become Ocean Listening Party with J.L. Adams

Monday, September 08, 2014

Watch the archived webcast from The Greene Space, of John Luther Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean in engulfing 5.1 surround sound.

Comment

Listen: Arvo Pärt and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On June 2 at 7 pm, Q2 Music presented a live webcast of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir performing Arvo Pärt's epic Kanon Pokajanen. Listen to the entire concert on demand. 

Comments [3]