John Schaefer

John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986.

Schaefer has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990); The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003). He was contributing editor for Spin and Ear magazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from “The Music of Cambodia” to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley. 

In 2003, Schaefer was honored with the American Music Center's prestigious Letter of Distinction for his "substantial contributions to advancing the field of contemporary American music in the United States and abroad." In May 2006, New York magazine cited Schaefer as one of "the people whose ideas, power, and sheer will are changing New York" in its Influentials issue.  He began blogging for WNYC when accompanying the New York Philharmonic on its historic (and apparently very weird) trip to North Korea in 2008 and continues to blog at soundcheck.org.

He is a regular contributor to the World Science Festival and the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center; he has also written about horse racing (Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology, Vintage NY 2006) and was a regular panelist on the BBC’s soccer-based program Sports World.  

John Schaefer appears in the following:

Listen Live: All-Star 80th Birthday Celebration for Terry Riley

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tonight, March 18 at 7:30 pm, join us for a live audio stream of Terry Riley's 80th Birthday Concert, live from the Ecstatic Music Festival and hosted by WNYC's John Schaefer. 

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Listen: Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund Concert

Thursday, February 26, 2015

On Feb. 26, the Bang on a Can All-Stars presented world premieres of new music by Wilco's Glenn Kotche, Jace Clayton (aka DJ/rupture) and Donnacha Dennehy. Listen to the entire concert.


On-Demand Audio: Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer with Bang on a Can All-Stars

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

October 14, Bang on a Can All-Stars took the stage at Brookfield Place for a performance of Julia Wolfe's Steel Hammer. Stream the entire show, hosted by WNYC's John Schaefer.


On-Demand Audio: The Knells, Duo Gazzana and Pianist Jenny Lin

Friday, May 30, 2014

The final night of the 2014 Look & Listen Festival featured a mix of chamber works performed by Duo Gazzana, pianist Jenny Lin and songs by members of the neo-psychedelic prog-rock band, the Knells.


On-Demand Audio: Buke and Gase with So Percussion

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 26, avant rock duo Buke and Gase joined So Percussion at Merkin Concert Hall, as part of the 2014 Ecstatic Music Festival. The evening features new music performed on a mix of traditional and homemade instruments. Listen to the entire show on demand.


Top 10 Essential Kronos Quartet Recordings

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kronos Quartet has been celebrating its 40th anniversary this season – 40 years of upending and then rebuilding our idea of what a string quartet can be. Here's a rundown of 10 of the quartet's most essential recordings.

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On-Demand Audio: Timo Andres, Gabriel Kahane, Ted Hearne, Becca Stevens & Nathan Koci

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday, March 19, we presented a live audio webcast of composer-performers Timo Andres, Gabriel Kahane, Ted Hearne, Becca Stevens and Nathan Koci at the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall.

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Listen: Bang On A Can's People's Commissioning Fund Concert

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Last Thursday, Q2 Music presented a live audio stream of the Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund Concert featuring music of Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry.


On-Demand Audio: Hilliard Ensemble's Farewell to New York Audiences

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Hear one of the world’s finest vocal chamber groups, the Hilliard Ensemble, on Q2 Music. The program is part of the Hilliard's farewell tour, as the group will disband in late 2014.


Listen Live: Caroline Shaw and ACME

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Q2 Music streamed the second of two live webcasts featuring music of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. The concert featured works for strings, including a world premiere. 


Listen: Caroline Shaw and Roomful of Teeth

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Q2 Music recently streamed the first in a series of two live webcasts featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Listen to the concert featuring Roomful of Teeth. 


The Rite of Spring Goes Solo

Monday, May 13, 2013

On Wednesday, pianist Vicky Chow celebrated the centennial of the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with a live performance from The Greene Space. Watch the full event.

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On-Demand Audio: John Corigliano's 75th Birthday Concert

Monday, April 29, 2013

On Monday, a star-studded line-up celebrated John Corigliano's 75th birthday at LPR. Listen to the archive of Q2 Music's live audio webcast of the event.


NY Philharmonic Gives Four Premieres

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Tonight at 8 pm, Q2 Music streams the next installment of the New York Philharmonic's CONTACT! series, with premieres of works by Unsuk Chin, Poul Ruders, Yann Robin and Anders Hillborg.


Listen: Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund Concert

Thursday, February 07, 2013

On March 14, Q2 Music and New Sounds Live presented a live webcast of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, featuring new works by Anna Clyne, Dan Deacon, Tyondai Braxton and others. Listen to the whole show on demand.


Listen: Clogs, Sarah Kirkland Snider and Orchestra for the Next Century

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

On Feb. 6, Q2 Music presented a live webcast of indie favorites Clogs and Orchestra for the Next Century, and the premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider's new song cycle, Unremembered. Listen to the full show.

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Listen: Carla Kihlstedt, ICE, Causing a Tiger and Face the Music

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tonight at 7:30 pm, Q2 Music presents a live audio webcast of singer-instrumentalist Carla Kihlstedt with the International Contemporary Ensemble, live from the Ecstatic Music Festival.


New York Philharmonic Premieres Akiho, Norman and Vaclavik

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 8 pm, Q2 Music presents the webcast premiere of the next installment in the New York Philharmonic's new-music series, CONTACT!, featuring works by Andy Akiho, Andrew Norman, Jude Vaclavik and the late Jacob Druckman.


On-Demand Audio: The Brooklyn Philharmonic's Season Preview

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On Thursday Q2 Music presented a live audio stream of the season-opening concert of the Brooklyn Philharmonic with world premieres from Ted Hearne, Kendall Williams, Matt Marks and more.

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On-Demand Audio: Vijay Iyer and Missy Mazzoli's Victoire

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This October, Q2 Music partnered with WNYC's New Sounds Live to present the eclectic composer-pianist Vijay Iyer in an exciting double billing with composer's Missy Mazzoli's all-female band, Victoire. Hear the show at 8 pm tonight on New York Now.