James Bennett, II

James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.

James is a noted pineapple enthusiast and native of the original (read: Chesapeake) Bay Area. At the impressionable age of 17, he moved to New York in search of concrete pastures and scooped up a BA in history from Columbia University. Classical music had always been an interest, but it really switched on after he heard Yo-Yo Ma rip “Fear” from Astor Piazzolla’s Four Tango Sensations. It popped up on shuffle, and he listened to it no fewer than 40 times in a row.  He’s also game to talk about jazz, hip-hop, and wave (chill, synth, vapor, or otherwise). James is also fond of funky ales, fall foliage, all things nautical, and harsh winters. Some would say he has a passing interest in the post-romantic situational comedy Friends

James Bennett, II appears in the following:

These Philadelphia Orchestra Members Brighten Commutes on Bach's Birthday

Friday, March 24, 2017

Each year on Bach's birthday, musicians all over the world gather in transit hubs to play the music of one of the world's most beloved composers.
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Watch: Leonard Bernstein Presents Yo-Yo Ma, Age 7, to President Kennedy and the World

Friday, March 24, 2017

In 1962, a seven-year-old Yo-Yo Ma performed at a White House benefit concert. Leonard Bernstein introduced the cellist, and reminded us of the transcendent power of the arts.
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The Hair, Clothes and Tunes: ’80s Pop Culture From the 1480s - Present

Thursday, March 23, 2017

You already know we're gearing up for a weekend of all-’80s madness. We're wondering — if each “’80s” were your buddies from high school, how are they holding up now? Let's find out.
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The Best of the '80s ... All of Them

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Madonna and Mozart both ruled the '80s ... depending on the century. Tune in this weekend to WQXR to hear these great '80s classics from the 15th century onward.
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Celebrate Stephen Sondheim's Birthday With Selections From 'Passion' and 'Sweeney Todd'

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Today, on Sondheim's 87th birthday, rewatch the composer's visit to WQXR and an awesome tribute from the 2010 Proms.
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Here’s a ‘Happy Birthday’ Fit for Bach

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On J.S. Bach's birthday, not just any performance of “Happy Birthday” will do. In our opinion, this fugal arrangement is the best bet.
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Watch: James Rhodes Plays Bach in the WQXR Studios

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pianist James Rhodes plays a favorite Bach prelude, and tells you how you can play it too.
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Exclusive Music Video: The Knights' 'Ascending Bird,' Featuring Yo-Yo Ma

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Knights are releasing their new album on March 31. Ahead of the release, they have shared an exclusive first listen of their new work, "Ascending Bird."
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Watch: Vivaldi's 'Spring' Like You've Never Imagined It

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring is Here! In celebration, check out this weird but captivating music video of Spring from Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" featuring violinist Midori Seiler.
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This 11-Year-Old British Boy is Set to Make his Conducting Debut (Video)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Matthew Smith of Nottingham is only 11, but he is a fledgling conductor set to lead a performance of 'Die Fledermaus' next month.
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Deborah Borda is Coming Home to the NY Philharmonic

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Deborah Borda, who helped revitalize the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is returning to New York and the orchestra she led in the 1990s.
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It's Time to Meet the 2017 Avery Fisher Career Grant Recipients

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Avery Fisher Career Grant recipients are some of the finest instrumental talents in the country. Get to know the 2017 recipients and watch some of their outstanding performances.
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Beware the Ides of March! Here's an Aria From Handel's 'Giulio Cesare'

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Handel’s “Giulio Cesare” is priority listening for the ides of March and a great segue to answer the question “what's a castrato?”
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Carolina Eyck Wastes No Time Showing You She's a Great Theremin Player

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Clara Rockmore was a theremin virtuoso who helped define the possibilities of the instrument. Half a century later, her contributions look to be safe in the hands of Carolina Eyck.
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Listen to Music Like an Expert With Juilliard's Open Courses

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Juilliard's Open Classroom begins in late spring, and features classes that appeal to classical newcomers and musicians alike.
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Watch: Swedish Orchestra Uses Instruments Made From Ice

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Artist Tim Linhart has taken music to new highs, thanks to low temperatures. ICEstruments are fully functional instruments fit for an equally chilly concert hall.
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Watch: Two Brothers' 'Fantasia'-Inspired Musical Adventure

Monday, March 13, 2017

Animator William Liu and pianist Charlie Liu are two brothers whose "Fantasies" series uses emotional music to bring new listeners to classical music.
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Surprise GMA Opera Audition Reminds Us To Follow Our Dreams

Friday, March 10, 2017

Aspiring opera singer Eldric Bashful appeared on Good Morning America to sing alongside Pretty Yende. It was a dream come true, even with another surprise reveal.
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Watch This Construction Worker Stun His Co-Workers By Singing Opera (Video)

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Davi Oliveira is a construction worker, who also happens to have a gifted voice. Check him out surprising his co-workers with an impromptu performance of "Nessun Dorma."
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Watch this Unique 360 Video of Dessoff Choirs

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Dessoff Choirs dropped by the WQXR studios to share the uplifting music of prodigious French composer Lili Boulanger. 
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