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:

'Original DREAMer' Tereza Lee Talks Immigration Rights and Plays Chopin

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tereza Lee, dubbed the Original DREAMer, joined WQXR host Elliott Forrest in the Greene Space for a live taping of the Brian Lehrer Show to discuss her activism and play Chopin.
Read More

Comment

Why Do Orchestras Seem to Play Behind the Beat?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

You've seen it before: The conductor raises the baton and brings it down to ... an offbeat orchestra? What's up with that?
Read More

Comment

5 Arrangements of 'Ave Maria' That Freshen up an Old Classic

Monday, September 18, 2017

Schubert's "Ave Maria" seems to be everywhere. Which is exactly why we welcome these peaceful, powerful — and sometimes, unusual — arrangements.
Read More

Comment

'Beauty in the Suffering' — Texas Man Finds Music Amid Harvey's Destruction

Friday, September 15, 2017

When Aric Harding returned to his flooded Texas home, he took a moment to play the piano. The video went viral, and launched a good-willed campaign to get him a new instrument.
Read More

Comment

9 Amazing, Stirring and Electrifying Moments from Proms 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Proms 2017 featured some amazing and borderline unreal performances. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Read More

Comments [2]

Lucille Chung and Alessio Bax Perform a Mozart Piano Sonata for Four Hands

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Recorded live in the WQXR studio, Lucille Chung and Alessio Bax perform a Mozart sonata for piano four-hands.
Read More

Comment

Hilary Hahn With Bach, Ives and American Throwbacks

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Revisit Hahn's 2011 Tiny Desk concert — and her Ives-inspired medley.
Read More

Comment

Composer, Alchemist, Poet and ... Time Traveler Immortal?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Count of St. Germain is one of history's most tantalizing enigmas. He may be remembered for those rumors of alchemy and immortality, but he was a composer, too.
Read More

Comments [2]

How Do Classical Composers Use Folk Music?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

For centuries, composers have been drawing on folk-music traditions to inspire their own compositions. Here's just a taste of how it's been done.
Read More

Comments [5]

A Flash Mob Descended Upon A Mall to Play Marquez's 'Danzon No. 2'

Friday, September 08, 2017

It's yet another perfect orchestral flash mob, courtesy of Veracruz's Xalapa Symphony Orchestra.
Read More

Comments [2]

Pentatonix's Kevin Olusola Beatboxes Bach

Friday, September 08, 2017

The Pentatonix beatboxer puts a new beat on a Bach favorite.
Read More

Comments [4]

Sister Pianists Perform Piazzolla ... In the Middle of a Forest

Friday, September 08, 2017

The pianist and her sister performed a four-hand improvisation of “Libertango” for a docu-concert film, set in a forest. 
Read More

Comment

Philip Glass' Hypnotic MISHIMA Gets a Colorful Makeover

Friday, September 08, 2017

The final piece from the 1985 film's soundtrack provides the perfect music for a colorful wonderland for this string quartet.
Read More

Comments [1]

Watch Sarah Willis' Majestic Alpine Horn Performance

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Sarah Willis of the Berlin Philharmonic loves her French horn. But see her take the challenge to the Alpine horn.
Read More

Comments [2]

Watch the Argus Quartet Perform Haydn for their Midday Masterpiece

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Midday Masterpieces have resumed, and things got started with this Haydn selection from the Argus Quartet.
Read More

Comments [1]

What Was the First Symphony, and Who Wrote It?

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

If only the answer were so easy.
Read More

Comments [6]

Epic Piano Battles of History

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

It's not just limited rap or jazz — classical pianists would improvise and go at it to see who really was the best. But some of these contests got way out of hand.
Read More

Comments [2]

Experience the Magic of Bach on the Archlute

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

David Tayler breaks out this old stringed instrument for an intimate performance of a Bach prelude.
Read More

Comments [2]

5 Works to Get You Exploring Amy Beach's Massive Oeuvre

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

For the year of her 150th birth, here are a handful of works to start you on a journey of discovery of Amy Beach's music.
Read More

Comments [2]

The Incredible Story of Elise Hall's Saxophone and Debussy's Trainwreck Commission

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

When the American saxophonist Elise Hall commissioned Claude Debussy to write a piece for Saxophone and Orchestra, it took nearly two decades for the project to be realized.
Read More

Comments [6]