Q2 Music

Ever-Expanding Access into the Minds of Today's Most Brilliant, Colorful and Idiosyncratic Composers

We here at Q2 Music will always strive to bring you the best and brightest in new-music. But now we are beginning to explore the spaces between the music. You will now be able to hear the voices of the composers themselves as they provide exclusive, concise introductions to subsequent music.

Q2 Music affirms its commitment to enshrining the insights and wisdom of today's composers. We will archive these introductions online and continue to add more composers to the mix both in-stream and online. Check back as we look to add more of your favorite composers to this page!

John Luther AdamsTimothy Andres | Mason BatesDerek Bermel | Tyondai Braxton | Martin BresnickGavin Bryars | Caleb BurhansElliott CarterChou Wen-chungJacob Cooper | John CoriglianoSebastian Currier | David Del Tredici | Avner Dorman | Osvaldo Golijov | Michael GordonJudd Greenstein | JacobTV | Scott JohnsonAaron Jay Kernis | Phil Kline | David Lang | Lowell LiebermannIngram Marshall | Missy Mazzoli | Meredith MonkPaul MoravecNico Muhly | Angélica Negrón | Per Nørgård | Paola Prestini | Steve Reich | Poul RudersEsa-Pekka Salonen | Morton Subotnick | Michael TorkePeteris Vasks

Recently in Composer Portals

Donnacha Dennehy's Exuberant Post-Minimalism

Monday, September 08, 2014

Donnacha Dennehy goes from Ireland to America, France and Amsterdam to study, gets the post-minimalism gospel (with a sideline degree in spectralism), and returns to his native Ireland.


Phil Kline Spotlights Scandinavian Symphonist Per Nørgård

Monday, July 21, 2014

While the music of  Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg and Esa-Pekka Salonen has become quite familiar to American audiences in recent years, that of their important predecessor Per Nørgård has remained offshore. Join Phil Kline this week from 11 am to 1 pm on Q2 Music for a look at the Scandinavian symphonist. 


Caleb Burhans Delivers Melancholic Stillness with Punk-Rock Bravado

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Caleb Burhans clearly has a sense of purpose. As a founding member of various performer collectives like Alarm Will Sound and Newspeak – and with his contributions as a composer to several projects on the New Amsterdam and Cantaloupe labels – any casual observer might easily be able to identify the string-player/vocalist as an important part of the contemporary classical scene in New York.


John Luther Adams Channels Nature's Savage Beauty

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

April 14, 2014, composer John Luther Adams was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his most recent orchestral composition "Become Ocean." Listen to the composer introduce his music and join us today at 4 pm for an hour of celebration.

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Gavin Bryars's Underground Sanctuaries of Ambient Sound

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

English composer and bassist has achieved sonically rich musical results in works like The Sinking of the Titanic and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet. Read an appreciation of the composer's work.


John Corigliano's Radical Pursuit of the New and Immediate

Monday, April 29, 2013

While never fully breaking from the expressive language developed by Mahler and his 20th-Century heirs, Corigliano develops it to often harrowing extremes. Read a profile of the celebrated American composer and listen to him introduce his music. 


Poul Ruders Tempers Dark Narratives with Scandinavian Cool

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Poul Ruders’s diverse body of compositions is tied together by his smooth absorption of many styles and modes. Read a full profile on the Danish composer, featured on this weekend's CONTACT! performance with The New York Philharmonic, and listen to him introduce his music.


Martin Bresnick's Playful Sound Spans the Blues to Goya

Monday, February 25, 2013

Given his Yale teaching post and the number of composers he has mentored there, Martin Bresnick may wind up being remembered as the Nadia Boulanger of the late 20th-century American scene: a rite of compositional passage embodied in a single instructor.


Avner Dorman Meshes Mandolins and Club-Drug Euphoria

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Avner Dorman is a composer of musical spices, perfumes and toxins in a figurative sense. His music is piquant — vivid, present, spicy. Read a profile of the Israeli-born composer and hear him introduce many of his key works. 


Esa-Pekka Salonen's Nordic Sounds Burn White Hot

Monday, January 14, 2013

Now that Elliott Carter has passed, we might well bestow the title of “world’s most impressive late-blooming composer” onto the shoulders of Esa-Pekka Salonen. Read a full portrait of the Finnish composer-conductor and listen to him introduce many of his key works.


The Rewarding and Unpredictable Music of Elliott Carter

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Charles Ives wrote him a letter of recommendation to Harvard. He attended the New York premiere of The Rite of Spring. Decades later, Stravinsky himself would proclaim that he had written the first American masterpiece.


Behind the Perverse Pandemonium of HK Gruber

Monday, October 01, 2012

Heinz Karl Gruber (or HK Gruber, depending on your program) isn’t afraid of being called silly. One of the Austrian composer’s most notorious pieces, Frankenstein!! (yes, with two exclamation points), is formally described as a “pan-demonium,” and takes as its text some would-be Austrian children’s rhymes penned by an absurdist-minded pal of Gruber’s.


Mason Bates and DJ Masonic: Two Halves of a Modern-Day Composer-Performer

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The tradition of the star performer-composer is as old as classical music itself — Beethoven on the piano, Paganini on the violin. But Mason Bates isn't a virtuoso of the organ or the lute. The role of the performer and the role of the composer have changed: Bates's instrument is the laptop.

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The Misfit Pop Art of JacobTV

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jacob ter Veldhuis, the Dutch composer better known as JacobTV, comes as close to pop art as classical music is ever likely to get. Borrowing the "speech-melody" technique of Scott Johnson and Steve Reich, he loops sampled conversation to form the basis for his music.


The Propulsive Post-Minimalism of Michael Torke

Monday, August 06, 2012

A decade or two before post-minimalism became the lingua franca of emerging American composers, the young Michael Torke was already building his career on it. Learn more about Torke and listen to the composer himself introduce many of his key works. 


The Inestimable and Visionary Impact of Chou Wen-chung

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tan Dun's teacher, student of Edgard Varèse, Chou Wen-chung stands at the intersection of Asian and European traditions, of old and new logics for cross-cultural listening.


Terry Riley's Radical Openness to Sound

Thursday, July 05, 2012

For a newcomer to Terry Riley, In C is where to begin, with its 53 melodic fragments passed back and forth between whatever instruments may have been assembled, and which are paced against the constant pulse of a piano’s top two Cs.


The Spiky Neoromanticism of David Del Tredici

Friday, June 08, 2012

From time in the serialist trenches of academia to a position in the front ranks of the neoromantic movement, David Del Tredici has played a surfeit of roles over the last half-century. Read Seth Colter Walls's portrait, and listen to the composer introduce his works.

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The Singing, Soaring Lines of Peteris Vasks

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It will be hard to keep Latvian composer Peteris Vasks's passionate, yearning, eminently accessible music secret here much longer. Read Daniel Stephen Johnson's portrait and listen to the composer introduce his own music. 


The Deceptive Simplicity and Totalism of David Lang

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

In recent decades, American composer David Lang has been best known as a founding member of the Bang On A Can collective – something of an activist-spirited composer/performer/educator outfit based in New York.