Classical 105.9 WQXR Names New Vice President

Graham Parker, Executive Director of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,
Tapped to Innovate WQXR’s Classical Programming for the Digital Age


(June 21, 2010, New York, NY) – Graham Parker, an innovative arts administrator, has been named to the newly-created role of Vice President of Classical 105.9 WQXR, announced New York Public Radio President and CEO Laura Walker today.

In this new role, Mr. Parker, will be responsible for envisioning and executing WQXR’s brand as a New York-rooted classical music destination with global relevance and reach. He will lead the efforts to create distinct, innovative content on multiple platforms, build strategic business relationships and cultural partnerships, and grow audience and create community among on-air, online and live audiences on WQXR 105.9,, and in the station’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.

“Graham’s reputation as an innovative content producer, a champion of artists, and a collaborative manager is a dazzling match for our ambitions to make WQXR a vibrant classical music platform for 21st century audiences on-air and online, in New York and around the globe,” said Ms. Walker. “We are fortunate to have found a leader who possesses such rich experience in both the artistic and business sides of classical music, as a producer of content for live and broadcast audiences, and who values both the artistic integrity of composer/ musician and the experience of the audience. I’m excited to welcome Graham to the formidable WQXR team.”

"This is an extremely exciting time to be joining WQXR, working to extend and deepen the critical place classical music radio has in New York and around the world,” said Mr. Parker. “WQXR has become, in eight short months, the most listened-to public radio station in the country, and my goal is to build on this success by bringing quality classical music to an ever expanding audience of all types and ages, on multiple platforms in distinctive and original ways.”

Mr. Parker will join WQXR on September 1, 2010, reporting to Ms. Walker and working closely with Dean Cappello, Senior Vice President of WNYC Programming and Chief Creative Officer, and the rest of the New York Public Radio senior management team. Parker will be the first Vice President for WQXR since its acquisition by New York Public Radio in Fall 2009 and its transformation from a commercial into a public radio station. Christopher Bannon, who, in addition to his role as WNYC’s Program Director, has overseen the programming on WQXR with a transition team from across the station, will continue to do so until Mr. Parker’s arrival.

Limor Tomer, Executive Producer, will report directly to Mr. Parker and continue to be responsible for the station’s special content, including the development of 65 live music events throughout the next year, partially funded by the Mellon Foundation and Niarchos Foundation. She will also continue to be responsible for Q2, WQXR’s 24-hour music stream dedicated to exploring contemporary composers and the modern classical music movement. Matthew Abramovitz, who has been programming the music for WQXR since October 2009, has been named Program Director effective immediately. Mr. Abramovitz, who will also report directly to Mr. Parker, will be responsible for the programming and schedule for the station, as well as the on-air and production staff.

Mr. Parker joins WQXR from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Grammy Award-winning classical music chamber orchestra where as Executive Director he revitalized the Company’s artistic and brand profile, managed the group’s global performance career, and stabilized the company’s financial health. During his eight year tenure, he initiated and oversaw significant commissioning projects including “New Brandenburg Project”; Project 440; Concerto for Sitar and Chamber Orchestra from Ravi Shankar; Songs from Ned Rorem for Susan Graham; orchestral works from Joan Tower, and Marc Mellits and Ingram Marshall; launched the “Live from Carnegie Hall” radio series on WNYC and NPR; and reestablished Orpheus’ recording career with EMI in projects with Sarah Chang and Jonathan Biss. He also oversaw a number of engaging digital projects, including the highly successful web-series “Raga Saga,” pegged to the premiere of the Shankar Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra. “Rage Saga” followed four characters from the orchestra, plus Anoushka, through twelve consecutive days of rehearsals, meetings, touring and other backstage access, resulting in daily three-minute webisodes that garnered a large national and international audience.

Prior to Orpheus, Mr. Parker served as General Manager of the Brooklyn Philharmonic where he managed the artistic, orchestral, education and outreach activities for the organization. He conceived, with Robert Spano and Catherine Cahill, season programming and commissioning projects, coordinated large-scale co-productions with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and stragetized new community engagement programs with Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Public Libraries.

Previously, Parker held positions at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center where he produced the “Great Day in New York” and “Beethoven 2000” concert series and shaped a monthly series of live radio broadcasts from Alice Tully Hall, and at the New York Philharmonic where he worked in both marketing and concert production.

In 2009, Mr. Parker completed the Executive Leadership Program at the League of American Orchestras, and was granted The Helen H. Thompson Award, the League’s award recognizing, in alternative years, outstanding emerging orchestra managers/executive directors and music directors. Mr. Parker holds a BSc from Oxford Brookes University.

Mr. Abramovitz worked for eight years at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, where he developed content strategy and generated original programming for three music stations. Most recently he was a marketing consultant for Blue Note Records.


New York Public Radio is New York's premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYC-FMWNYC-AM,WQXR, and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, as well as and  As America's most listened-to AM/FM news and talk public radio stations, reaching 1.1 million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City's cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. Classical 105.9 WQXR is New York City’s sole 24-hour classical music station, presenting new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, among other New York City venues, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. In addition to its audio content, WNYC produces content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space. For more information about New York Public Radio, visit