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, April 30, 2015 Edit This

Differenz/Wiederholung

To any fan of Bernhard Lang, the words Differenz/Wiederholung conjure up a whole world of groove and uptown funk. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.

Krazy for Kairos

Thursday, April 23, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett sample music from Austria's Kairos label, including performances of Klaus Lang and Beat Furrer. Listen Thursday at 3 pm.

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Songs of the Earth and Sea

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What do composers Alan Hovhaness, David Maslanka and Beat Furrer havein common? For one thing, they all wrote music inspired by the 'songs' they heard within the sea and the earth.  

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The Chinese Show

Thursday, April 09, 2015

This week the Brothers Balliett take a look at two exciting composers who have at least one thing in common – they both hail from China. 

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Who Exactly is Saying That A Mass Has to Have Words?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

More and more composers are retaining the old, beautiful, ritualistic form of the liturgical Mass, but jettisoning certain aspects to keep it fresh. Like, for instance, the words.

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Wait, WHAT Instrument is That??

Thursday, March 19, 2015

This week, the Brothers Balliett listen to composers who use extended techniques and bizarre instruments to achieve new and unusual sounds.

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Defacing the Romantics with David Kaplan

Thursday, March 12, 2015

This week, the Brothers Balliett are joined by pianist David Kaplan for a listen to modern musicians who scribble all over great Romantic chamber music with astounding results.

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Formal Insanity

Thursday, March 05, 2015

What is the form of a symphony? Is it four movements: fast, slow, fast, fastest? This week, the Brothers Balliett  listen to composers redefining the rules of orchestral music.

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The Brothers Balliett talk to Gregory Spears

Thursday, February 19, 2015

This week, the Brothers Balliett are joined in the studio by Gregory Spears – a composer of unearthly beautiful music, from operas to song cycles to neo-Baroque compositions..

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Woodwind Players With Feet In Two Worlds

Thursday, February 12, 2015

You can do a lot with a woodwind instrument. This week, The Brothers Balliett explore wind players fluent in multiple styles, from Indigenous Australian music to Latin jazz.

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So Old It's New Volume 4: Passion Plays

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Continuing their mini-series of music that is so OLD, that it actually begins to sound NEW, the Brothers Balliett listen to pre-1200 AD "passion plays." Thursday at 3 pm.

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So Old It's New (Part 3): Ancient and Modern Troubadours

Thursday, January 29, 2015

For this installment of ancient music that might very well be mistaken for new music, The Brothers Balliett listen to music of the troubadours. Thursday at 3 pm.

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So Old It's New Part 2: Dance Edition

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Continuing their mini-series investigating music that is so old that it actually sounds new, the Brothers Balliett listen to instrumental dance music from c. 1000-1500.

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So Old It's New

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Have you ever heard a piece of VERY early music and thought, "that could easily have been written today"? Today the Brothers Balliett explore music that's so old it sounds new.

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Guerilla Composer Portrait: Gloria Coates

Thursday, January 08, 2015

The American-born, Germany-based composer Gloria Coates is the most prolific female symphonist of all time. Today at 3, the Brothers Balliett take a listen.

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I'll Be in an Airplane Ten Miles Above Albania for Xmas

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy holidaze! This week, the Brothers Balliett pay homage to that great holiday tradition of seemingly-endless travel; two airplane-centric works take centerstage today.

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

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

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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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