New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
On Tuesday, September
10th, WQXR and WNYC Studios will launch The Open Ears Project, a podcast that invites listeners to experience a daily dose of classical music through the ears of another. Part mixtape, part sonic love-letter, each short episode spotlights a special guest sharing a personal story about a piece of classical music and how it changed their life.
What would happen if we open our ears and our hearts to a new musical experience? What if we made a daily habit of listening deeply to classical music and each other? Every day, for 30 days, The Open Ears Project will give listeners the opportunity to explore these questions through storytelling and a companion email newsletter which provides context about the music and the guest, as well as a way for listeners to share their own Open Ears stories.
The Open Ears Project features a wide range of guests including high profile actors, entertainers, musicians, authors, podcasters, an Oscar-winning film director, a New York City Ballet choreographer, and more. They are joined by a cast of everyday New Yorkers: the taxi drivers, 9/11 first-responders, teachers, bartenders, and writers that are the quotidian beating heart of the city, as well as beloved voices from the WNYC and WQXR family.
Episodes include the following guests:
Alec Baldwin shares how the Adagio from Aram Khachaturian's "Spartacus Suite" helps him reset during a busy day
Aminatou Sow, co-host of the Call Your Girlfriend podcast, reveals how Florence Price's Juba Dance from Symphony no. 1 helped her through her cancer diagnosis
Eva Chen, Instagram's Director
of Fashion Partnerships and the author of the Juno Valentine
series of children's books, reveals how Mozart's piano concerto no. 17enables her to transition each evening from busy working mom to children's author
Terrance McKnight, WQXR host, talks about how a Beethoven Bagatelle speaks to the fight for justice, equality, and overcoming adversity
Jamie Barton, opera singer and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate, discusses how Chopin's Nocturne no. 21 helped her through the isolation she felt as a queer teenager in rural Georgia
Wynton Marsalis, legendary jazz trumpeter and composer, chooses Beethoven's String Quartet no. 16, op. 135 and remembers the first time he encountered it as a musically omnivorous teenager
Alison Stewart, host of WNYC's "All of It," chooses Erik Satie's Gymnopédie no. 1 as a way to "just let go"
Other pairings include musician Jon Batiste on Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring; conductor, cellist, co-founder of The Knights, and member of the Silk Road Project, Eric Jacobsen on Schubert's Piano Trio no. 1; and comedienne Rachel Strauss-Muniz on Mozart's Piano Sonata no. 1.
The Open Ears Project is created and hosted by Clemency Burton-Hill, WQXR's Creative Director
and Arts, broadcaster, violinist, and author of Year of Wonder: Classical Music
to Enjoy Day by Day.
"Classical music can seem daunting, something that requires intellectual expertise to enjoy," says Burton-Hill. "However, it's rarely the music itself that makes us feel that way. As any movie director knows, classical music can connect us profoundly to our own interior landscapes, and to those of others, even if we have no educational grounding in it. I've spent much of my broadcasting career being the one behind the mic, telling people what they should listen to. With The Open Ears Project, we are inviting others to tell their stories about the way a particular piece has changed their lives. We hope the short daily episodes will help to create an everyday listening ritual around classical that enables us to hear both the music, and each other, differently."
ABOUT WNYC STUDIOS: WNYC Studios is the premier producer of on-demand and broadcast audio, home to some of the industry's most critically acclaimed and popular podcasts, including Radiolab, On The Media, Nancy, The New Yorker Radio
Hour, Death, Sex & Money, Snap Judgment, Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin, and The Stakes. WNYC Studios is leading the new golden age in audio with podcasts and national radio programs that inform, inspire, and delight millions of intellectually curious and highly engaged listeners across digital, mobile, and broadcast platforms. Programs include personal narratives, deep journalism, interviews that reveal, and smart entertainment as varied and intimate as the human voice itself. For more information, visit wnycstudios.wnyc.org.
ABOUT WQXR: WQXR is New York City's only all-classical music station, immersing listeners in the city's rich musical life on-air at 105.9FM, online at WQXR.org and in the real world via live events and broadcasts. WQXR presents new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic, and broadcasts essential destination programs including New York Philharmonic This Week and Young Artists Showcase. WQXR is also the co-producer—along with the Metropolitan Opera—of the critically-acclaimed podcast Aria Code, hailed by The New Yorker as "illuminating ...accessible…immediately pleasurable." As a public radio station, WQXR is supported through the generosity of its members, donors and sponsors, making classical music relevant, accessible and inspiring for all.