In the coming weeks, Classical 105.9 WQXR presents an impressive line-up of live performances from New York’s top venues, with a live audio webcast of the Emerson String Quartet at (Le) Poisson Rouge (April 26), and live broadcasts from Jordi Savall at Lincoln Center (May 3) and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall (May 4). Q2, the station’s 24-hour contemporary classical music stream, launches two new special series for May: an introduction to Ligeti and his landmark opera, Le Grand Macabre, featuring Alan Gilbert, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic (May 17-27), and a retrospective of Mexican classical music in honor of the nation’s bicentennial (May 24-28).
On May 5, WQXR will present a live video webcast of two up-and-coming ensembles – the Harlem String Quartet and M5 Brass Ensemble – performing live at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, WNYC/WQXR’s street-level, state-of-the-art broadcast studio and performance venue. The show will also be broadcast on May 26 on WQXR’s The McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase.
Upcoming highlights from 105.9 FM WQXR
On Monday, April 26 at 8pm, WQXR.org joins forces with NPR to present a live audio webcast of the Emerson String Quartet, winner of nine Grammy Awards and “one of the most impressive of American string quartets” (New York Times). The live stream from Manhattan venue (Le) Poisson Rouge, emceed by Terrance McKnight and featuring the music of Bach, Beethoven, Barber, Janácek, and Dvorák, will be available at www.wqxr.org.
With fellow anchor Fred Child, McKnight also hosts an NPR and APM collaboration on Monday, May 3 at 7:30pm, when WQXR presents a live broadcast of Jerusalem, City of Heavenly and Earthly Peace, the latest project from early music trailblazer Jordi Savall,” from Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in New York City. The Catalan director/performer will use religious songs, texts, chants, and instrumental arrangements to explore the way cultural traditions of the three major monotheistic religions have shaped the history of Jerusalem, from biblical times to the present day. Joining the “performer of genius” (Alex Ross, New Yorker) are soprano Montserrat Figueras, Savall’s own vocal and instrumental ensembles, and a host of guest artists – both Israeli and Arabic – from the Middle East.
On Tuesday, May 4 at 8pm, WQXR presents a live broadcast of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s final Carnegie Hall season concert. The ensemble, whose conductor-less playing has been described as a “delight” (Daily News), performs repertoire at which it excels: Stravinsky’s neoclassical Octet for winds and Beethoven’s Second Symphony, coupled with Bruch’s First Violin Concerto, which marks the Carnegie Hall debut of Japanese violin phenomenon Ryu Goto. Praised by conductor Lorin Maazel as “a sterling violinist with impeccable technical credentials and personal musical flair,” Goto (Midori’s half-brother) accompanied Orpheus on its recent tour of Asia.
Also scheduled for May are two very special editions of Q2 with Terrance McKnight, a weekly program on 105.9 WQXR that serves as a radio companion to the Q2 webstream available at www.wqxr.org/Q2. The show airs Saturday nights and encores on Q2. On Saturday, May 1 at 10pm, McKnight will be joined by New York City Ballet’s Ballet-Master-in-Chief, Peter Martins, for a two-hour immersive tour of the company’s musical biography. The New York City Ballet’s long tradition of commissioning new music dates back to co-founder George Balanchine’s collaborations with Stravinsky and Hindemith in the 1940s, and continues to the present day, with four new scores having been commissioned for the upcoming “Architecture of Dance – New Choreography and Music Festival”. On Saturday, May 15 at 10pm, the program features an exclusive, gripping, two-hour interview with MacArthur “Genius” Award-winner Bill T. Jones, tracing his life through music. The legendary artistic director, choreographer, and dancer reminisces about listening to B.B. King back in the days when he and his parents pulled potatoes as migrant workers; discovering Hendrix, Dylan, and Baez at college; sharing Streisand recordings with his late partner, Arnie Zane, with whom he would later found the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in New York; and the music that played as Zane died in his arms.
May sees the return of WQXR’s Chamber Music nights on Mondays from 9:30-11pm, with the launch of a new series of ten Concerts from the Frick, recorded live at the New York gallery this season. Canadian Baroque ensemble Masques, “stylishly led from the harpsichord by Oliver Fortin” (San Francisco Classical Voice), leads the way on May 10; Czech Gramophone Award-winning string quartet Pavel Haas Quartet follows on May 17. May 24 brings a recital from Armenian pianist Nareh Arghamanyan, winner of the 2008 Montreal International Music Competition; and the last of the month’s offerings, on May 31, is from violin and piano duo Augustin Hadelich and Rohan De Silva, whose Frick recital was pronounced “riveting” by the New Yorker’s Alex Ross; his glowing profile of the violinist concluded: “Here is a young artist with no evident limitations.”