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Conversations with composers and other musicians working in the vibrant new music community of New York City and beyond. Episodes are curated by and often feature members of TAK, an ambitious ensemble that “impresses with the organicity of their sound, their dynamism and virtuosity — and, well, just a dash of IDGAF as they slay the thorniest material like it’s nothing” (WQXR).
 
Part mix tape, part sonic love-letter, the Open Ears Project is a daily podcast where people share the classical track that means the most to them. Each episode offers a soulful glimpse into other human lives, helping us to hear this music—and each other—differently. The Open Ears Project is produced by WQXR and WNYC Studios, home of great podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, On the Media, Nancy, and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin.
 
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Aria Code

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Aria Code

WQXR & The Metropolitan Opera

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Aria Code is a podcast that pulls back the curtain on some of the most famous arias in opera history, with insight from the biggest voices of our time, including Roberto Alagna, Diana Damrau, Sondra Radvanovsky, and many others. Hosted by Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Rhiannon Giddens, Aria Code is produced in partnership with The Metropolitan Opera. Each episode dives into one aria — a feature for a single singer — and explores how and why these brief musical moments hav ...
 
He Sang/She Sang is a new podcast from WQXR for the opera-curious and opera superfans who want to know what all those big voices are really singing about. The podcast follows the radio broadcast season of the Metropolitan Opera with a weekly roundtable chat that discusses the plots, characters, music, productions, social significance and great performances of that week's opera. Following the Met's radio broadcast season, He Sang/She Sang will dive into the new productions of Wagner’s Tristan ...
 
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Helga

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Helga

WNYC Studios and Park Avenue Armory

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Artist, performer and host Helga Davis brings a soulful curiosity and love of people to the podcast Helga: The Armory Conversations. She draws the listener into intimate conversations with artists, scholars and cultural change-makers, famous and lesser known, who join her to share the steps they’ve taken along their paths. These inspiring conversations expand our world and our imaginations as we explore what we think we know about each other. The new season of Helga is a co-production of WNY ...
 
From the creators of Dolly Parton's America, Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee, comes a new series produced in collaboration with author Kiese Laymon, scholar Imani Perry, writer Cord Jefferson, WQXR’s Terrance McKnight, and WNYC's Jami Floyd. Based on the book Black Swan Blues: the Hard Rise and Brutal Fall of America’s First Black Owned Record Label by Paul Slade. It was Motown before Motown, FUBU before FUBU: Black Swan Records. The label founded 100 years ago by Harry Pace. Pace launched the ...
 
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show series
 
Charlotte and Laura speak with Eric Wubbels about the piece he's writing for TAK, titled 'Interbeing'. They talk about making music that responds on a deep level to what's going on in the world, about how debating with friends helps you to forge your own creative voice, how food relates to music, and many other things. We're giving the first public…
 
Announcing TAK's newest release, Love Crystal and Stone! Ashkan Behzadi’s composition stretches musical lyricism to its limit, imagining an impossibly radical, revolutionary folk music that pushes the individual and collective virtuosity of TAK ensemble to new heights. This concert length work is a sensual, intricately interwoven, and deeply philos…
 
In this week's episode, Marina and Madison interview Weston Olencki about his upcoming album "Old Time Music," coming out this spring on Tripticks Tapes. They also talk about Weston's relationship to country music, AI and machine learning, and more. The music on today's episode is from "Old Time Music," as well as Weston's piece "Virtual Chamber Mu…
 
In this episode, we’re continuing a series of episodes focused on tuning practices, in celebration of Star Maker Fragment’s first birthday! Today, Marina and Taylor speak with musicologist Jatin Mohan. Jatin is a Fulbright Scholar from New Delhi, India, studying at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research focuses on comparing tuning practices in Hind…
 
On this episode we’re celebrating Star Maker Fragment’s birthday with vocalist and composer Jeffrey Gavett! A founding member of Loadbang and Ekmeles, and longtime collaborator of Taylor Brook, Jeff joins Taylor and Charlotte to talk about microtonal music, collaboration and digital nonsense. Star Maker Fragments:https://takensemble.bandcamp.com/al…
 
On this episode we celebrate the release of ‘field anatomies,’ a collection of blisteringly physical works for flutes and electronics, featuring flutist and fearless leader of TAK, Laura Cocks. Laura and Charlotte Mundy speak with the composers featured on the album– David Bird, Bethany Younge, Jessie Cox, DMR and Joan Arnau Pamies–about space, tim…
 
Saying “I love you” for the first time takes courage, especially when you don’t know the response you'll get. But being open with your emotions and putting yourself out there can change you in unexpected ways. In Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, it’s the 16-year-old Tatyana who pins her heart on her sleeve. Young and naive, but also fierce…
 
“To be or not to be, that is the question.” It’s hard to think of a more famous line from a more famous play. In this iconic speech from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the troubled Danish prince asks whether this whole life thing is even worth it. But “to be or not to be'' is not the only question we’re asking this week. When everyone knows this line so wel…
 
When we talk about “falling in love,” we talk about it like it is something that just happens. Suddenly the ground opens up and we are falling for somebody, as if there is no choice in the matter. This is everywhere -- in movies, TV shows, novels, and of course, in opera. Take Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde - while Tristan is bringing her across the I…
 
We're rebroadcasting this episode in preparation for the TAK ensemble music video drop of "8 minutes after boiling" by Julien Malaussena. Check it out on Sunday, October 31st at 4pm (or any time thereafter) at the following link:https://youtu.be/OO6qJKWsckY***Julien Malaussena considers his compositional prism to be sound energy–not timbre nor time…
 
This week we’re decoding with the man who wrote the code - Terence Blanchard, composer of Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Not only is it the work that reopened the Met after its 18-month pandemic shutdown, but it’s also the first opera by a Black composer ever to be performed there. Based on the 2014 memoir of the same name by New York Times columnist Ch…
 
Psalm 137 depicts the ancient Hebrews, enslaved and weeping “by the rivers of Babylon,” as they remember their homeland, Jerusalem. Those words have inspired songwriters of reggae, Broadway, disco, folk and more, but one of the most memorable versions is featured in Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco. The opera retells the story of the Babylonian capti…
 
The young Composer in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos is one of opera’s great trouser roles -- a female singer playing the part of a young man. He is set to premiere his new opera at the home of the richest man in Vienna, only to learn moments before the performance that a bawdy comedy troupe will be performing at the same time. As his plans collapse a…
 
“That's been one of the hardest things to really heal from. Has been the grief of knowing that my choices and the way that I live my life, which I love means that I am isolated from my community.” Liliana Maria Percy Ruíz, radio producer and founding member of On Being with Krista Tippett sat down to talk about identity, her definition of faith and…
 
People who go to see Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor spend the entire evening waiting for the famous Mad Scene, to hear the soprano’s incredible acrobatics, and to feel her intense emotional changes over the course of the lengthy showstopper. But the Mad Scene is more than a vocal showpiece: it’s a window into what it means to lose touch wi…
 
Perhaps no opera better reflects the questions and contradictions at the heart of Russian history than Modest Mussorgsky’s historical epic Boris Godunov. Based on the play by Alexander Pushkin (considered by many to be one of Russia’s greatest writers), it’s a meditation on power and legitimacy, and a portrayal of a pivotal period in Russian histor…
 
One of opera’s great heroines is based on one of history’s extraordinary women. The 19th century French courtesan Marie Duplessis was elegant, successful, famous, and gone before her time, dying of tuberculosis at the age of 23. One of her lovers, Alexandre Dumas fils, was so inspired by her that he wrote a novel and a play about her life called Th…
 
"When I look outside, when I go to the front door. That is my new canvas. Today. It's not really what happens in the studio. It's what happens outside of the studio." Visual Artist Nick Cave joins Helga Davis to talk about the evolution of his sculptural work, his community collaborations, and how to move from Black sorrow to Black excellence. Nick…
 
Artist, performer and host Helga Davis brings a soulful curiosity and love of people to the podcast Helga: The Armory Conversations. This season, in partnership with Park Avenue Armory, she continues to draw the listener into her profound and intimate conversations with creative people, famous and lesser known. Artists, scholars, and cultural chang…
 
What makes us human? As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, technology is becoming even more integrated into the fabric of daily life, and better able to simulate real human interactions. But what really separates humans from machines is our ability to love, to dream, and to believe in an illusion. In Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, t…
 
Note: This episode includes descriptions of childhood sexual assault. The drive for revenge can be all-consuming, especially when you or someone you love has been wronged. Outcast and distraught, the title character in Richard Strauss’s Elektra is obsessed with avenging the murder of her father. And because the story is based on a Greek myth, and G…
 
Dreams Deferred: Episode Two from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee. The story of the post Black Swan years. We follow Harry’s Supreme Court battle to desegregate the South Side of Chicago, and then the mysterious decision which forces him into seclusion, before his untimely death.…
 
The Rise and Fall of Black Swan: Episode One from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee. Harry Pace founded Black Swan Records exactly 100 years ago. Pace launched the career of Ethel Waters, inadvertently invented the term rock n roll, played an important role in W.C. Handy becoming "Father of the B…
 
Harry Pace touched and changed nearly every aspect our world 100 years ago, and then was erased. The Vanishing of Harry Pace includes the incredible rise and fall of America’s first Black-owned record label Black Swan Records - a journey with tales of betrayal, family, hidden identities, and crossed color lines. Pace’s descendants as well as over f…
 
It’s not easy to talk about death. We associate dying with so much suffering and loss. But for many people, the end of life is full of peaceful remembrance of the moments and relationships that have meant the most. For the leading man in Puccini’s Tosca, that’s the sweetness and beauty of his beloved. Caught up in the messy politics of his time, Ma…
 
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