Exploring Music

Airs weeknights at 11 pm on WQXR

Throughout this journey, Bill McGlaughlin guides the listener deep into the music with care and enthusiasm by giving historical context, illustrations at the piano and providing a special insight that only a top-notch musician, conductor, broadcaster, and composer could. Whether 90 or 9, professional musician or simply a music lover, Bill McGlaughlin truly makes exploring music fun.

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Latest Episode / Monday, April 21, 2014 Edit This

Inspired by Shakespeare

Host Bill McGlaughlin samples from the wealth of music inspired by the Bard’s verse, including pieces written by Purcell, Dvorák, Berlioz and Bernstein.

Bach's St. Matthew Passion

Monday, April 14, 2014

Composed in 1727, it’s one of two surviving settings of the last days of Jesus Christ composed by J.S. Bach. Host Bill McGlaughlin explores the history of this masterpiece and sample different recordings.


Portraits of African-American Artists, Part II

Monday, April 07, 2014

Bill McGlaughlin hosts the second of a two part series celebrating African-American composition and performance.

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Portraits of African-American Artists, Part I

Monday, March 31, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin explores African-American music and the way it has reverberated through the Western classical tradition.


A Call for Scores

Monday, March 24, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin spends this week playing music suggested by his radio colleagues across the country.


Bach Sleeps in on Sundays

Monday, March 17, 2014

This week host Bill McGlaughlin explores the music of Johann Sebastian Bach starting with music he composed for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen as Kapellmeister. The program will also examine the influence of Vivaldi on Bach's work and Felix Mendelssohn's revival of Bach's music in 1830. 

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Latin Carnival

Monday, March 10, 2014

In honor of Carnival season, host Bill McGlaughlin explores the music from Latin American composers, including Padilla, Ponce, Ginastera, Villa-Lobos and Piazzolla.


You and the Night and the Music

Monday, March 03, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin takes a look at novelists who have drawn their plots around great music.


The Two Very Different Worlds of Delius and Holst

Monday, February 24, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin looks at the worlds of Frederick Delius and Gustav Holst.

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Shostakovich, Part II

Monday, February 17, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin concludes his series on the life and times of Dimitri Shostakovich.


Shostakovich, Part I

Monday, February 10, 2014

One of the most celebrated composers in the 20th century, Shostakovich forged a musical language of colossal emotional power. This week will be the first half of a two-part series exploring the life and times of this fascinating composer.

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Magnificent Magyars

Monday, February 03, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin delves into the rich musical history of Hungary, starting with ancient sacred music and working his way through Liszt, Kodaly, Bartók and Hungarian gypsy music.

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Beethoven at Parnassus, Part II

Monday, January 27, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin spends a second week exploring the music of Beethoven in a program he calls "Beethoven at Parnassus."

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Beethoven at Parnassus, Part I

Monday, January 20, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin spends the week exploring the music of Beethoven in a program he calls "Beethoven at Parnassus."

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Merrie England

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ready your passport. Host Bill McGlaughlin travels to merrie, old England. McGlaughlin is tyour guide and this is one journey where the sounds are more important than the sights.

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Brahms, Part II

Monday, January 06, 2014

Host Bill McGlaughlin continues to dig further into Johannes Brahms' musical aspirations, as well as uncovering Brahms' relationship with Clara and discovering ragtime American pianists.


Brahms, Part I

Monday, December 30, 2013

The first of a two-week biography exploring the music and life of the great German master Johannes Brahms, including his formative years as a pianist, meeting the Schumanns, the symphonies, his late works for clarinet and more.


Bach's Christmas Oratorio

Monday, December 23, 2013

Host Bill McGlaughlin explores Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

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Merrie England

Monday, December 16, 2013

Host Bill McGlaughlin explores Christmas music from "Merrie England."


Hidden Gold, Part I

Monday, December 09, 2013

On this edition of Exploring Music, host Bill McGlaughlin examines some works that are absolutely fantastic, as fantastic as the pieces we hear all the time, but not played as often as the pieces we always hear. Guides to finding some of this hidden treasure come from the experts at WFMT, who have a rich wealth of knowledge when it comes to finding buried musical treasure.


Too Darn Big

Monday, December 02, 2013

Host Bill McGlaughlin ascends some of the most colossal musical mountains in existence: works like Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder and Havergal Brian’s Gothic Symphony that are, usually, too big to program on Exploring Music.