John Schaefer

Host

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.

John 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.  

Shows:

John Schaefer appears in the following:

The Best of 2017

Saturday, December 02, 2017

This time on The Furthermore, we look back at some memorable musical events in 2017.

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Watch: Martha Argerich and Rome’s Santa Cecilia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

Friday, October 20, 2017

Watch a special presentation of Carnegie Hall Live featuring the legendary pianist Martha Argerich and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

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Watch: Iceland's Nordic Affect Performs Valgeir Sigurðsson and Úlfur Hansson

Thursday, April 20, 2017

On the heels of their performance at the LA Phil's Reykjavík Festival, we invited Icelandic quartet Nordic Affect in for an intimate in-studio performance.

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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...

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Soundcheck with John Schaefer (2002)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

In this episode of Soundcheck from 2002, the composer discusses some of the odd jobs he has held throughout his career,  the development of the new music scene in New York, and ...

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The Leonard Lopate Show (2002) and New Sounds with John Schaefer (1985)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Today’s archival Glass interviews feature an appearance on The Leonard Lopate Show from 2002 about Koyaanisqatsi and an episode of New Sounds from 1985, in which the composer talks ab...

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Survival Kit with Leonard Lopate (2003) and Around New York with John Schaefer (1995)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

What would Philip Glass need to survive in complete isolation? Find out on this episode of Survival Kit from 2003. The composer opens up about what recordings he would bring along, including some unexpected selections.

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Young Glass, New Sounds

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

As part of Music of Constant Change, Q2 Music spotlights archival episodes of WNYC's New Sounds by streaming interviews between host John Schaefer and many of Glass's most important c...

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Top 10 Essential Philip Glass Recordings

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Philip Glass has been an extremely prolific composer, and has had long associations with two major record labels. Here are 10 recordings that will serve as an introduction.

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On-Demand Audio: Steve Reich's Complete String Quartets

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tonight at 7:30 pm, Q2 Music presents a live audio- and videocast of the sold-out concert of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble performing the complete string quartets of Steve ...

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Premieres from Michael Jarrell and Elliott Carter

Monday, June 18, 2012

Enjoy three Webcasts of the New York Philharmonic's ground-breaking CONTACT! new music series with works by Elliott Carter, Michael Jarrell and Pierre Boulez. Tuesday at 3pm, Wednesda...

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Terry Riley Remembers In C

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In this 2009 episode of WNYC's New Sounds, Terry Riley speaks with host John Schaefer about his landmark 1964 work In C which helped usher in the style known as minimalism.

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Lou Harrison Tunes the Gamelan for Western Ears

Monday, March 26, 2012

In this 1997 New Sounds with host John Schaefer, Lou Harrison talks about composing for the Indonesian gamelan, the associated complexities of intonation and his recollections of instrument building and experimentation with fellow West Coast maverick, Harry Partch. 

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Frederic Rzewski and DIY Music-Making

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In this 2002 episode of WNYC's Soundcheck, host John Schaefer talks to maverick American icon Frederic Rzewski as well as fellow pianist-composers Michael Hersch and Russian-born Lera Auerbach about performing their own pieces, and working outside the musical mainstream.

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Listen Now: Dan Deacon, NOW Ensemble and Calder Quartet

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Listen now to indie heavyweight Dan Deacon's compositions performed in Merkin Concert Hall's Ecstatic Music Festival.

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Nick Zammuto & Jason Treuting: Live at Merkin Hall

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tonight at 7:30 pm ET, join us for a live audio Webcast from Merkin Concert Hall featuring composer-performers Nick Zammuto (The Books) and Jason Treuting (So Percussion).

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Richard Reed Parry, Son Lux and yMusic: Live from Merkin Concert Hall

Monday, February 06, 2012

On Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30 pm ET, Q2 Music presents a live audio Webcast of Son Lux, Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry, and new-music heavyweights yMusic as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival.

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Michael Gordon's Decasia: Live from World Financial Center Winter Garden

Friday, February 03, 2012

On Friday at 7:30 pm, enjoy a live Webcast of composer Michael Gordon's live scores to the silent films of acclaimed American filmmaker Bill Morrison.

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Jóhann Jóhannsson's The Miners' Hymns: Live from World Financial Center Winter Garden

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tonight at 7:30 pm, Q2 Music and New Sounds Live present a live Webcast of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson's visceral score to filmmaker Bill Morrison's silent film, "The Miners'...

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Music of Lindberg, Lunsqui and HK Gruber

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Q2 Music is proud to announce three delayed Webcasts -- Wednesday, December 21 at 8 pm, Saturday December 24 at noon, Thursday, December 29 at 8 pm, and now an additional Saturday, De...

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