James Bennett, II

James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.

James is a noted pineapple enthusiast and native of the original (read: Chesapeake) Bay Area. At the impressionable age of 17, he moved to New York in search of concrete pastures and scooped up a BA in history from Columbia University. Classical music had always been an interest, but it really switched on after he heard Yo-Yo Ma rip “Fear” from Astor Piazzolla’s Four Tango Sensations. It popped up on shuffle, and he listened to it no fewer than 40 times in a row.  He’s also game to talk about jazz, hip-hop, and wave (chill, synth, vapor, or otherwise). James is also fond of funky ales, fall foliage, all things nautical, and harsh winters. Some would say he has a passing interest in the post-romantic situational comedy Friends

James Bennett, II appears in the following:

Get to Know These 7 Traditional Chinese Instruments

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Producer Noel Morris presents the series “Passage to the Middle Kingdom,” which features conversations with several accomplished musicians who play traditional Chinese instruments.
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‘Mozart in the Jungle’ Season 4: Our Character Power Rankings

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A completely subjective, non-scientific ranking of where the “Mozart” crew stands heading into Season Four.
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Now We’ve Seen It All: Watch a Concerto for Ping-Pong and Orchestra

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Andy Akiho's “Ricochet” is a triple concerto for violin, percussion and ... ping-pong. And it’s exactly what you didn't know you needed to hear.
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Renée Fleming's Perfect ‘Song to the Moon’

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

On her birthday, we're delighting in the soprano's performance of the ultimate love song, the "Song to the Moon" from Dvořák's 'Rusalka.'
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Mr. Lincoln Goes to the Opera

Friday, February 09, 2018

On the way to his first inauguration, Abraham Lincoln made a pit stop in New York City to see the popular new Verdi opera that had just reached American shores.
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Sheku Kanneh-Mason's Record Breaking Moment

Friday, February 09, 2018

The 18-year old musician is the youngest cellist to crack the Top 100 U.K. Charts.
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10 Powerful Uses of Classical Music in Olympic Figure Skating History

Thursday, February 08, 2018

With the 2018 Winter Games underway, and figure skating inevitably at the center of the action, we’re celebrating our favorite uses of classical music in skating performances.
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Bernstein in Berlin: Watch the Maestro Conduct Beethoven's Ninth After the Fall of the Wall

Thursday, February 08, 2018

On the Christmas Day following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bernstein led German, U.S., U.K., U.S.S.R. and French musicians in an inspiring performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.
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Dynamic Duo: Great Moments with Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Check out this excerpt from a Bravo! Vail Music Festival appearance — as well as some throwback footage of their WQXR performances.
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Going, Going, Gong: How Puccini's Gongs Ended Up in a Queens Warehouse

Friday, February 02, 2018

A new episode of "Strange Inheritance" follows the gongs from Puccini's Italy to a warehouse in Queens.
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What Does Rosin Actually Do to Violin Bows?

Friday, February 02, 2018

"Rosin flying from a bow" is imagery classical music writers love to throw around — but what does that sticky dust actually do to string instruments?
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It's On: The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Have a Super Bowl Bet

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Philly's Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Boston Symphony's Andris Nelsons challenge each other to a friendly game-day wager.
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Yuja Wang Takes Schumann's 'Smuggler' on an Adventure

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

In anticipation of her role as a Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist, whet your appetite with Yuja Wang’s performance of Schumann’s "The Smuggler."
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The 2018 Classical Grammy Winners

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Classical music is well-represented at the Grammys, but the nominees are usually found at the bottom of a massive list. We did the hard work for you, and put them front and center.
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Listen to a Post-WWII Broadcast Featuring the Music of Jewish 'New Americans'

Friday, January 26, 2018

In the years following World War II, WNYC broadcast a program called "Music by New Americans," which featured performances by Jewish musicians who came to America to begin life anew.
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Watch: Sonya Yoncheva Sings 'Vissi D'Arte' from 'Tosca'

Friday, January 26, 2018

Watch an excerpt from the Met's final dress rehearsal for their new production of "Tosca," featuring Sonya Yoncheva's title role debut.
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Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, With Chopin's Flair

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Beethoven's Fifth in the style of Chopin is more magical than we thought it could be.
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How Beethoven Helped Kobe Bryant Get an Academy Award Nomination

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What do NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and animator Glen Keane have in common? A love for Beethoven and, now, an Academy Award nomination.
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Watch Marbles Waltz to Tchaikovsky

Monday, January 22, 2018

Watch Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers” come to life with this balletic marble run.
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Ray Chen's Sarabande Serenade

Friday, January 19, 2018

The violinist shared Bach's introspective and stirring Partita No. 2 in D minor.
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