Behind the Scenes at a WQXR Live Broadcast

Monday, April 16, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Whether it’s outside of the Carnegie Hall recording studio or in the control room of the Greene Space, I find what happens behind the scenes of a live broadcast can be just as thrilling as what goes out over the airwaves or video Webcast.

So, for 48 hours I followed the people — the WQXR producers, engineers, Greene Space staff, on-air host and the musicians — involved with our recent live broadcast of the chamber ensemble The Knights from the Greene Space.

I’m always amazed at the controlled chaos (how does everyone stay so calm?) that happens in the days or hours before a live broadcast. This one was especially hectic as we flipped the venue’s layout to accommodate the more than 40 musicians in The Knights — the largest ensemble we’ve ever had in the Greene Space.

Here’s a look behind the scenes at a WQXR live broadcast:


More in:

Comments [2]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

I have much experience with the apparent excitement and seeming Arc de Triomphe-like collision potential of so much hasty goings on preparatory to a broadcast on radio or TV or a world premiere of an opera or a main hall concert in Carnegie Hall. With regard to rehearsals with orchestra, I was the weekly resident performer with MET OPERA singers and NEW YORK CITY OPERA singers on the Godino Opera Theater broadcast on Sundays for one hour each week for two years on WEVD-FM with Rodgers and Hammerstein maestri alternating, Salvatore del Isola, Fredric Dvonch, Anton Coppola and others. And on WNYC, following the Oscar Brand Show I had my hour long Operatic Spotlight program, which I started, hosted and sang with MET and NYC Opera singers as guests previewing their upcoming performances. I have also premiered in the title or leading tenor role in Prokofieff's "The Gambler," George Antheil's :"Volpone," Marc Blitzstein's "The Harpies" and three others.
I am a Wagnerian heldentenor and the director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where professional actors are trained for the Shakespeare roles and big-voiced singers are coached in the Wagner roles and voice production and dramaturgy techniques.
Websites:,, and where one may download, free, 37 complete "Live from Carnegie Hall" selections that I have sung in four concerts, three of them three hours-long solo concerts and one concert, a Joint Recital with the dramatic soprano Norma Jean Erdmann, in the main hall of Carnegie Hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium, by opening up, downloading from the "Recorded Selections" venue on the home page. My next concert in New York will be on Saturday, June 9th at the YOGA EXPO at the New Yorker Hotel . The title of the concert is 'BRING HIM HOME, with that song from the musical LES MISERABLES, encouraging the return of our armed forces and inspiring hope and love of country with This Land is Your Land, The House I Live In, Climb Every Mountain, You'll Never Walk Alone, The Impossible Dream, Granada, Wien, Wien, nur du allein, When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again and 19 other selections.


Apr. 18 2012 12:20 AM
Les Bernstein from Miami, Florida

I think live broadcasts of classical music and opera are radio at its best, and I'm one who still plans his day's activities around them. Seeing the behind the scenes video makes me wonder what Stokowski would be performing and/or devising with webcasts at his disposal! Parenthetically, every time I engage the Windows Media Player and see the kaleidoscopic images with the audio, I recall that Ernie Kovacs did the same thing on live tv in the 1950's until his untimely death in 1962.

Apr. 16 2012 09:00 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Follow WQXR 







About WQXR Blog

Read WQXR's coverage of classical music news, trends, commentary and more here at the WQXR Blog.