The Brothers Balliett

Streams Thursdays at 3 pm and Sundays at 8 pm on Q2 Music

Brad Balliett and Doug Balliett — identical twin composers and performers from Massachusetts — have been performing together and collaborating for nearly thirty years. As bassoonist and double bassist (respectively) they perform as a duo and with groups all around New York, including the new music ensembles Deviant Septet, Metropolis Ensemble, Argento, Signal, and Alarm Will Sound, with chamber ensembles The Declassified and Ensemble ACJW, with symphonies such as Handel & Haydn and the Hartford Symphony, and a host of other diverse ensembles.

Dedicated rappers, the brothers, along with Elliot Cole, make up The Oracle Hysterical and create pioneering hip-hoperas, rap cantatas, poperas, and so forth. Performances of these works have taken them around the world. 

The Balliett brothers are fiercely competitive and work tirelessly to one-up each other. This drive creates a self-fueling passion to write the best work, listen to the best music, and learn as much as possible. They are thrilled to be joining Q2 Music's roster of personalities.

The Brothers Balliett have a ten-point Manifesto which will guide this show:

1. We are the Brothers Balliett.

2. We believe that the best music is the music that excites the best curiosity, excitement, passion and conversation.

3. We believe in music that bears repeated listening and offers something new with each visitation.

4. We believe that stretching the ear is a way to stretch the mind.

5. We believe in the continually ceaseless creativity of composers everywhere.

6. We believe that music must reflect the time in which it was written, and that all eras deserve representation.

7. We believe that great nations should strive to attract and support great artists.

8. We believe in absolute artistic freedom, unfettered by trend or dogma.

9. We believe that the power of ideas, creativity, and personality can shape a city's character.

10. We believe in the groove.

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Latest Episode / Thursday, December 18, 2014 Edit This

I Will Punch Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' Right in the Face

Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" – the height of Italian Baroque invention, or overplayed schlock? Join the Brothers Balliett in deciding today at 3 pm.

Composers Playing Music by Other Composers

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Today at 3, The Brothers Balliett hear Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber perform Stravinsky, Thomas Adès take on Schubert and Philip Glass and Steve Reich jam on Four Organs.

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You Heard It Here First

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett present their favorite releases of 2014 (so far), including performances by The Cellar and Point, Miranda Cuckson and more.

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Guerilla Composer Portrait: Arthur Levering

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Continuing their series of 'Guerrilla Composer Portraits', the Brothers Balliett settle into the Q2 Music studios with the music of American composer Arthur Levering.

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What the Devil is a Metagong?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

You heard it here first, folks. That's the theme of today's show, as the Brothers dive into the rich ocean of new releases from spring, summer, and fall of 2014.

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The Brothers Balliett Talk To Jonathan Dawe

Thursday, November 13, 2014

This week, the Brothers Balliett are joined in the studio by Jonathan Dawe, a composer driven by a profound love of Baroque music and an obsession with fractals. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.

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Forests of Instruments

Thursday, November 06, 2014

This week, the Brothers Balliett examine music created with "forests" of one instrumental color, resulting in some startling textures and sounds.

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Beautiful and Brooding

Thursday, October 16, 2014

There is no greater Fall pleasure than taking in some refreshingly crisp air and putting on music that is both beautiful and brooding. Join the Brothers Balliett Thursday at 3.

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Music that Makes You Go "Huh?"

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Have you ever heard a piece of new music that made you go... "Huh?" Thursday at 3 pm, wrap your head around some joyfully confusing music with the Brothers Balliett.

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IMPROVE-isations

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Is the appropriation of the past (as material for a new work) any less creative than all-new material? Thursday at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett listen to new takes on old music.

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Whoa, Hilary Hahn is Kind of Joining the New Music World For Real

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Most people know violinist Hilary Hahn as the young woman that can thrash Tchaikovsky and Brahms. But she's been killing it with new music lately, too. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.

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These Five Composers Are Keeping the Guitar Relevant

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett take a listen to five composers who truly know how to rock the new-music guitar.

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The Great Greek Literature New Music Adventure

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Today at 3 pm, the Brothers Balliett explore modern music that draws on ancient Greek mythology and literature for inspiration.

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Guerrilla Composer Portrait: Richard Festinger

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Continuing their series of Guerrilla Composer Portraits, in which a composer is featured without their foreknowledge or permission, the Brothers Balliett set their sites on the fascinating American composer Richard Festinger. Listen today at 3 pm.

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We Believe in the Groove

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Brothers Balliett operate on a 10-point manifesto that concludes with "We Believe In the Groove." Today at 3 pm, join them for an hour all about groove in contemporary music, and the different kinds of groove that can be achieved by different voices.

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So You Think You Know the Music of George Perle

Thursday, July 31, 2014

So, you fancy yourself an expert on the music of innovative American composer George Perle, do you? Join the Brothers Balliett today at 3 pm for a deep dive into the Pulitzer Prize-winner's music to see how much you really know.

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The Mid-Century American Piano Show

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Today's show puts the spotlight on one of America's most interesting and artistically innovative periods: the post-war years, stretching from the 1950's to the 1970's. But that's not all: today's focus is ALSO about the instrument that every composer must write for, probably again and again: the PIANO.

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Toys! Toys! Toys!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Did you ever consider taking your favorite toy as inspiration for a new composition? We hope you did, but if not, don't worry: this Thursday at 3 pm, dive into pieces by composers, such as Nathan Davis and Sofia Gubaidulina, who took inspiration from childhood trinkets like toy pianos. 

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Guerrilla Composer Portrait: Andrew Rindfleisch

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Continuing a series of portrait concerts without their subjects' foreknowledge, advice, or permission, the Brothers Balliett explore the whimsical and fanfare-laden world of internationally-recognized composer Andrew Rindfleisch. Listen today at 3 pm.

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If I Haven't Heard It, It's New To Me

Thursday, June 26, 2014

We may think we know a lot about 20th century composers, but there are certain music makers who go unprogrammed and rarely discussed. Join the Brothers Balliett Thursday at 3 pm to dig into this sometimes-forgotten past.

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It's Just One of Those Flute Days

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Let's face it. Some days you wake up and you say to yourself, "you know, this is just a FLUTE kind of day." Well, guess what, folks? Today is one of those days. We're taking a journey from solo flute through chamber music and clear out the other side into flute concerto territory. So buckle up and set your equalizers on "high."

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