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, March 31, 2016 Edit This

Oh, Viola

This week the Brothers Balliett present two works, somewhat bizarrely paired, that both have great viola parts: Wolfgang Rihm's '"Fetzen", and Paul Chihara's "Viola Concerto".

Let's All Reconsider the Organ as a New Music Instrument

Thursday, March 03, 2016

What do American composer David Brynjar Franzson, Romanian-German educator Adriana Holszky, and accordion virtuoso Teodori Anzelotti have in common? The Brothers Balliett know.

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New Adventures in Grand Piano Literature

Thursday, February 25, 2016

This week the Brothers Balliett take a look at two composers with....well...let's say "unusual" approaches to piano composition. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.

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Post-Minimal Jams

Thursday, February 04, 2016

A few weeks ago we looked at early Philip Glass – music that exemplified what came to be called minimalism. Today: two composers that spun off the genre in their own distinct ways.

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Dances, Minimal and Otherwise

Thursday, January 28, 2016

To shake off the sludge and snow from their boots, this week the Brothers Balliett hit the dance floor with two major figures of American music: Philip Glass and John Adams.

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Three Unique Piano Utterances

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This week the Brothers Balliett take a gander at three utterly unique piano pieces, each designed to honor a specific person or set of people.

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The Young Philip Glass

Thursday, January 14, 2016

We all know Philip Glass as the composer of countless film scores, a Beethoven-sized collection of symphonies, and a host of amazing operas. But what was his early work like?

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Who Is Per Norgard?

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Per Nørgård's formidable output places him within the symphonic tradition of his regional predecessors Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius, but also shows him breaking new ground. 

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Reflective Stocking Stuffers

Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's been a warm set of holidays, but that doesn't mean we can't set a reflective and introspective mood with some new music that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the season.

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Mid-December Chamber Music Adventure

Thursday, December 17, 2015

To celebrate this mild beginning of winter, the Brothers Balliett share two stunning chamber works to set a contemplative tone for the Holiday season.

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When Wind Players Compose

Thursday, December 10, 2015

There are many fantastic musicians for whom playing an instrument is not enough – these musicians must create, and some of them turn out to be amazing composers. 

The Trombone, Redefined

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Are you hungering for some fresh and imaginative pieces that feature the trombone, that most unusual of brass instruments? Join the Brothers Balliett Thursday at 3 pm.

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New Classics of the Wind Quintet Repertoire

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Do you think the woodwind quintet is played out? This week, the Brothers Balliett set out to restore your faith in this unusual combination with some amazing contemporary works.

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Boundary-Smashing String Quartets from NYC and Beyond

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What could be a better mid-summer treat than a survey of some of the most exciting string quartets working the field today? Join the Brothers Balliett Thursday at 3 pm.

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Harrison Birtwistle's 'Gawain,' Part 3

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett delve back into the world of Arthurian legend with the third and final installment of Harrison Birtwistle's brilliant opera Gawain.

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Harrison Birtwistle's 'Gawain,' Part 2

Thursday, July 16, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett continue to explore one of opera's most exciting works from the last 25 years: Harrison Birtwistle's "Gawain." Listen today at 3 pm.

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Gawain: Part 1

Thursday, July 09, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett launch a three-part series focused on Harrison Birtwistle's masterpiece-of-an-Arthurian opera 'Gawain.'

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For Ages Q2 Through Q12

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Gather the whole family around the speakers and put on Q2 Music – this week's show features three works geared for the younger crowd of up-and-coming new music fans.

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How Do We Write a Song Today?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The art song tradition is as alive and well as ever, from Rihm to Roche. Thursday at 3, the Brothers Balliett take a look at the kinds of songs composers are producing today.

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Guerilla Composer Portrait: Nancy Van Der Vate

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Continuing their series of composer portraits without alerting the "portraitees" ahead of time, the Brothers Balliett explore the music of ex-pat composer Nancy Van Der Vate.

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The Goldberg Variations Variations

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Musicians and audiences have long been delighted by Bach's Goldberg Variations, but what about composers? This week, the Brothers Balliett investigate modern takes on the work.

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