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:

Watch How Violins Get Made in the Stradivari Hometown

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cremona, Italy is home to a centuries-old history of violin-making tradition.
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5 Great Blockbuster Scores You Should Stream this Summer

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer brings us a huge, epic movie season — but what about the film soundtracks to those films?
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You've Never Seen Paganini Violin Tricks Like These

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Paganini with a tiny violin bow or while while riding a bike? You've got it.
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Weird Classical: Satie's Quirky Relationship With Painter Suzanne Valadon

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In which two talented artist-types find brief, but oh-so-strange, love.
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Full Orchestra Performs at LA's 'Game of Thrones' Premiere

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Partygoers at the "Game of Thrones" premiere in Los Angeles were treated to a surprise performance by an orchestra and Ramin Djawadi.
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A Few of Our Favorite 'Game of Thrones' Covers

Friday, July 14, 2017

Return to Westeros with these tunes a-buzz in your ears.
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Composer Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Jack of All Trades and Master of All of Them

Friday, July 14, 2017

Joseph Boulogne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, was a standout athlete, composer, violinist and colonel in the French revolution. Let's listen to his music.
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Why Is It So Hard to Find Saxophones in the Concert Hall?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Adolphe Sax imagined his instrument to be the pride of concert halls, but we don't even think twice when (or if) we notice they aren't on the stage.
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Traffic Marshall Surprises Travelers with a Public Piano Performance

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

He gets down — way down. If only every travel experience could be like this.
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Watch these Organists Dive into Hans Zimmer's 'Interstellar' Soundtrack

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The organ is right at home in Hans Zimmer's soundtrack. These musicians show why.
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Canadian Brass Goes Big with Bach's 'Little' Fugue

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The storied quintet brings their brassy signature to a Bach favorite.
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Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Joins Forces with Arts For Incarcerated Youth Network

Monday, July 10, 2017

A series of forums will provide a space to discuss the ways in which the arts can be brought to at-risk youth.
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This Ralph Vaughan Williams Documentary Lets You Escape to the Pastoral English Countryside

Monday, July 10, 2017

"The Passions of Vaughan Williams" is a 2008 BBC documentary that explores the life and work of the influential English composer.
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A Freud and Two Mahlers

Thursday, July 06, 2017

In the midst of the Mahlers’ marital issues, Gustav turned to Sigmund Freud for help.
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The Martin Scorsese Film Scene That Put Mahler's Quartet Front and Center

Thursday, July 06, 2017

It's a masterful use of one of the composer's only chamber compositions.
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This Opera Company Stages Performances on a Truck

Thursday, July 06, 2017

OperaCamion wants to see a more diverse crowd at the opera. So they bring it to the people, and put on a show from the back of their truck.
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Why Do Orchestras Tune to an A-Note Pitch at 440 Hz?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Take a seat. There are lots of meetings involved.
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Here's Why the ‘1812 Overture’ Has Held Onto Independence Day

Monday, July 03, 2017

Tchaikovsky's explosive work has nothing to do with America or its independence from Britain. So why is it the unofficial anthem for fireworks displays all over the U.S.?
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How Big Was the Biggest Orchestra?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Why is that some orchestras look tiny, while others can hardly fit on the stage? We've got the answer for you. 
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Listening to Penderecki's Music in ‘Twin Peaks’

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The eighth episode of 2017's "Twin Peaks" uses an intense and raw composition by the composer Krzysztof Penderecki — "Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima."
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