Jeff Spurgeon

WQXR Host

Jeff Spurgeon appears in the following:

Stand Up for Silent Night

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jeff Spurgeon observes: "In how many churches this Christmas Eve will 'Silent Night' be the emotional climax of the service? This little carol is something very special."

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Audio Slideshow: Leonard Bernstein at Work

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Steve J. Sherman is a familiar face to concertgoers in New York, as the city's most prominent concert photographer. One of his most famous subjects was iconic conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein.

Comments [6]

A Conversation with Simon Rattle

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Conductor Simon Rattle talks with Jeff Spurgeon about making his long-awaited Met Opera debut, his work with the Berlin Philharmonic, and why he learned to stop worrying and love The Nutcracker.

Comments [5]

Tongue-Tied in the Chorus

Monday, December 06, 2010

Jeff Spurgeon writes: "I’ve sung in good choirs and not-as-good choirs, in ensembles large and small, singing early music and brand-new music. I’ve been a useful chorister, and, at least one time, a completely useless one."

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I Was a Teenage Trombonist

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sounds like a horror movie, doesn’t it? As Jeff Spurgeon tell us, for family and friends, perhaps it was. But his trombone tale is very much a happy one.

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Comments [19]

Stephen Hough on Beethoven's 'Moonlight' Sonata

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

British Pianist Stephen Hough, last heard in New York at Avery Fisher Hall in this past summer’s Mostly Mozart Festival, is back in town for a recital tonight at Carnegie Hall.

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David Fray: A Frenchman Makes His Mark on German Classics

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The young French pianist David Fray is fast gaining notice for his charismatic, sometimes eccentric performances of Bach and Schubert. Just don't compare him to Glenn Gould.

Comments [2]

Marathon Music

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

If you’re running the New York City Marathon this Sunday, what classical music will be on your iPod? Or if you’re strictly a spectator, what classical selections would you suggest? Tell us and listen to this week's Arts File.

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Comments [24]

Christian Tetzlaff on Violins, Religion and Freddie Mercury

Thursday, October 28, 2010

German violinist Christian Tetzlaff chats with Jeff Spurgeon about his new Carnegie Hall Perspectives series, about his modern violin and his surprising tastes in pop music.

Comments [3]

Scary Music, Then and Now

Monday, October 25, 2010

What’s the scariest piece of music you know? In celebration of Halloween, our Jeff Spurgeon thinks it's the perfect occasion to ask.

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Comments [42]

How to Cope with Concert Hall Distractions

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I’ve been distracted at concerts lately. And a surprising blog post got me thinking about live performances, and about what is demanded of us by the idea of truly listening to music.

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Comments [7]

Deborah Voigt: "I'm Pinching Myself"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Met's new Brünnhilde talked with host Jeff Spurgeon about being both nervous and excited for the new Ring cycle – and about applying her dramatic soprano to cabaret tunes.

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Comments [1]

Glenn Dicterow on the Role of the Concertmaster

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Glenn Dicterow has been a concertmaster or associate concertmaster in major symphony orchestras for nearly forty years, thirty of which have been at the New York Philharmonic. He talks with Jeff Spurgeon about the job.

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Comments [1]

Stradivari vs. Guarneri: An Expert Explains the Difference

Monday, September 13, 2010

Even people who know nothing about the violin know the name of its most famous maker: Stradivarius. But don't count out the Guarneri family. Violinist Renaud Capuçon tells Jeff Spurgeon about the differences.

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Wanna Play?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

As our month-long ViolinFest proceeds on WQXR, I’ve been reading about the violin, and talking with some violinists and other violin experts. Curiously for me, though, learning about the violin has not made me interested in the slightest in learning to play the thing.  I say “curiously” because usually when I study something, I feel an urge, however small, to experience it. But for some reason, the violin hasn’t grabbed me in the least. It looks not only difficult to learn, but uncomfortable, too.  I love listening to it, and deeply admire the people who study it, play it expertly, and understand it.  But it’s not for me. 

If I were to study a string instrument, it would be the cello.  There’s something about its tone quality, its warmth, and the intimacy of holding it in an embrace – as opposed to tucking the violin under the chin, as if it were napkin – that draws me to it.  There’s nothing rational about any of this, of course. Speaking of irrational, I also have long had a desire to play the accordion. I love the sweet rusticity of the French bal-musette sound.  But the accordion instead of the violin – what’s wrong with me? Please don’t answer that, but do answer this: What musical instrument have you always wanted to play, and why?  If you’ve fulfilled your ambition, what was it like to meet the object of your musical desire?

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Comments [27]

Taking a Break with Music

Monday, August 30, 2010

This is the last week of the traditional vacation season. I love the terms associated with vacation. To “vacate” means to “get out.”  “Relax” means to “loosen.” We also “take a break,” have “time off,” and “get away.” In all of those words or phrases is the idea of relief from everyday routine, and there are myriad ways to escape quotidian matters.

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Comments [9]

Mental Air Conditioning

Saturday, July 24, 2010

There are lots of ways to cope with this hot July, ranging from going into the shade out of the direct sun, to going to Australia, which is so out of the direct sun that it's winter. There isn't much that we can do over the radio to cool your body, but maybe we can offer the illusion of a cooler atmosphere through music.

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Comments [27]

Souvenir de Chamonix

Monday, July 19, 2010

The cliché September school essay, “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” will be no problem for me this year. Earlier this month, I fulfilled a dream of hiking in the Alps.

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Comments [31]

Branford Marsalis On Performing in Central Park

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Branford Marsalis spoke with Jeff Spurgeon ahead of his performance with the New York Philharmonic in Central Park. Hear his thoughts on working with the Philharmonic and the composers whose music he will be performing and get his take on the difference between the jazz and classical disciplines.

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How Do I Do It?

Monday, July 05, 2010

People ask. How do I get up in the middle of the night to come to work?

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Comments [10]