Jeff Spurgeon appears in the following:
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monday, July 05, 2010
People ask. How do I get up in the middle of the night to come to work?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I felt it a few years ago at a concert where Robert White and Dick Hyman shared memories of the Golden Age of Radio, the time when Bobby was a child singer and actor and Dick was playing the piano and organ on live radio soap operas. I felt it recently, attending South Pacific, when the orchestra struck up that amazing overture. And I feel it every time I hear live music at the Naumburg Band Shell in Central Park.
Monday, June 07, 2010
I have a few musical guilty-pleasures--the accordion, the musical saw and certain kinds of close harmony singing among them. But I’m sure the one that most marks me as, shall we say, a bit odd, is--I’m hesitating to say it, actually--the theater pipe organ.
Friday, June 04, 2010
It’s rare to hear a voice with the depth and power of Stephanie Blythe’s. But it’s even rarer to hear that voice for free.
Monday, May 31, 2010
It’s Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer season. Elsewhere on this website is a guide to great summer music festivals in New York City, the surrounding area, across the country and around the world. But today I’d like to highlight a few specific performances here in town this week which have the added attraction of being free of charge.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
It’s not every day that New Yorkers are treated to the premier of a work by Ludwig Van Beethoven. Jeff Spurgeon sat down Beethoven Project Trio pianist and leader George Lepauw to find out rediscovered treasures.
Monday, May 10, 2010
A student recital I recently attended has really stayed with me. Such performances are music-school requirements, and to complete them successfully is a big relief for the performers, I’m sure. But there was a sense of exultation in the room after the senior recital of Rollin Simmons, a cantorial student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and that feeling has continued to buoy up my spirits ever since.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Jeff Spurgeon nabbed an exclusive interview with Eric Jacobsen, the cellist and conductor of the chamber orchestra The Knights. They discuss the ensemble's unique style and what the future may hold.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Tonight at 8 o'clock, WQXR offers a Web cast--a broadcast exclusively on our Web stream at WQXR.org--of a concert by the Emerson String Quartet.
Monday, April 19, 2010
In the music world, there are great singers and there are beloved singers. Mezzo soprano Frederica Von Stade happens to be both. Morning host Jeff Spurgeon talks with Flicka about her career, her legacy and why she is choosing to retire now.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Earth Day is this Friday. The idea has come a long way in the four decades since it was first observed, but it seems to me that one of the most obvious consequences of Earth Day must be New York City’s recycling laws, which have us all sorting the paper from the glass, and the glass from the plastic (and the plastic from the plastic--nothing is easy).
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I spent a few hours this weekend in renewed admiration and affection of George Jellinek. We’re planning to re-broadcast some of The Vocal Scene this summer. What are some of your favorite memories of George and of The Vocal Scene?
Monday, April 12, 2010
George Jellinek, former WQXR Music Director and host of the station’s long-running program The Vocal Scene, will be remembered at a free public concert on Sunday, April 18 at 1:30 p.m. at Merkin Concert Hall in Manhattan.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
WQXR’s Bob Sherman is in Florida this week, listening very closely to music by the Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin.