Jeff Spurgeon

WQXR Host

Jeff Spurgeon appears in the following:

Remembering Erich Leinsdorf's Impromptu Requiem for JFK

Saturday, February 04, 2012

The radio microphones were present at a Boston Symphony Orchestra concert at an extraordinary moment in American history.

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Comments [19]

A Maverick Organist Cuts Loose on a Christmas Standard

Monday, December 19, 2011

The flamboyant organist Cameron Carpenter offers us another example of his remarkable technical and musical skills in a new recording and video of “Sleigh Ride.”

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Comments [12]

Stagehands' Union Plans to Picket the Tony Awards

Friday, June 10, 2011

In this week's Arts File, Jeff Spurgeon speaks with New York Times theater reporter Patrick Healy about a spat between the stagehands' union and the producers of the Tony Awards. 

Comments [2]

When the Wedding March Goes Off Course

Monday, April 25, 2011

Jeff Spurgeon remembers a scandalous moment involving wedding music. Perhaps you’ve attended a wedding where the music choices came with a twist, or didn’t quite work out as planned. We'd like to hear about them.

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Comments [8]

Hélène Grimaud: Dances with Pianos and Wolves

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

As WQXR celebrates Powerhouse Pianists throughout January, we spotlight a pianist known to give the keyboard a workout. Hélène Grimaud is frequently admired for her enormous technical command and her keen musical curiosity.

Comments [7]

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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Comments [10]

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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Comments [13]

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]