John Schaefer

John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck since the show’s inception in 2002. He has also hosted and produced WNYC’s radio series New Sounds since 1982 (“The No. 1 radio show for the Global Village” – Billboard) and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986.

Schaefer has written extensively about music, including the book New Sounds: A Listener’s Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, NY, 1987; Virgin Books, London, 1990); The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, U.K., 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (Bravo Television, 2003). He was contributing editor for Spin and Ear magazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from “The Music of Cambodia” to recordings by Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley. 

In 2003, Schaefer was honored with the American Music Center's prestigious Letter of Distinction for his "substantial contributions to advancing the field of contemporary American music in the United States and abroad." In May 2006, New York magazine cited Schaefer as one of "the people whose ideas, power, and sheer will are changing New York" in its Influentials issue.  He began blogging for WNYC when accompanying the New York Philharmonic on its historic (and apparently very weird) trip to North Korea in 2008 and continues to blog at soundcheck.org.

He is a regular contributor to the World Science Festival and the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center; he has also written about horse racing (Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology, Vintage NY 2006) and was a regular panelist on the BBC’s soccer-based program Sports World.  

Shows:

John Schaefer appears in the following:

New Sounds Presents 2017 New York Guitar Festival: Trixie Whitley and Marc Ribot

Thursday, June 01, 2017

John Schaefer hosts an evening of performances by indie rocker Trixie Whitley and guitarist-composer Marc Ribot. Watch live Thursday, June 1 at 7pm.

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New Sounds Presents 2017 New York Guitar Festival: Margaret Glaspy and Julian Lage

Thursday, May 25, 2017

John Schaefer hosts performances by indie rocker Margaret Glaspy and Julian Lage, one of the most formidable jazz guitarists of his generation. Watch live Thursday, May 25 at 7pm.

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New York Guitar Festival: Sharon Isbin, Alberta Khoury, Tengyue Zhang and Colin Davin

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Watch a live video stream Thursday, May 18 at 7pm as New Sounds' John Schaefer hosts a diverse cast of guitar slingers performing newly commissioned works and special collaborations. 

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Listen: 2017 Ecstatic Music Festival Launches with Bang on a Can All-Stars

Monday, May 15, 2017

On Jan. 9 we kicked off the 2017 Ecstatic Music Festival with a live stream of the Bang on a Can All-Stars annual People's Commissioning Fund Concert. Listen to the full show.

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Remembering Jonathan Demme: Director and Music Fan

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

There is a Jonathan Demme-sized hole in both the worlds of film and music worlds. We revisit this 2015 conversation with the director on Soundcheck.

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Watch: Iceland's Nordic Affect Performs Valgeir Sigurðsson and Úlfur Hansson

Thursday, April 20, 2017

On the heels of their performance at the LA Phil's Reykjavík Festival, we invited Icelandic quartet Nordic Affect in for an intimate in-studio performance.

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Tracing Contemporary Music's Evolution with Steve Reich

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Carnegie Hall is kicking off a concert series curated by the Pulitzer Prize winning composer that shows how contemporary music has changed over the last half century.  

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On-Demand Video: Bing & Ruth's 'No Home of the Mind' Release Party

Monday, February 13, 2017

Steered by composer David Moore, the group Bing & Ruth is equal parts chamber and ambient music. Watch the release party for their latest album from The Greene Space at WQXR.

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Listen Live: San Fermin & NOW Ensemble at the Ecstatic Music Festival

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

On Jan. 25 at 7:30 pm, tune in for a live stream of indie rockers San Fermin and new-music mainstays Now Ensemble live from the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Concert Hall.

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Norway's Jaga Jazzist Embraces Vintage Funk and Krautrock

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jaga Jazzist is a Norwegian ensemble that draws inspiration from jazz, vintage funk and Krautrock. We join the members backstage at Le Poisson Rouge for an interview and performance.

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Listen: Bruce Brubaker and Francesco Tristano Remix Philip Glass

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Bruce Brubaker and Francesco Tristano, two virtuoso pianists from very different musical backgrounds, take the music of Philip Glass in an entirely new direction. 

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Remembering The Musicians Who Passed Away in 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Prince. David Bowie. George Michael. Leonard Cohen. Sharon Jones. Merle Haggard. These are just a few of the musicians we lost in this past year.

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Listen: GABI Talks Fear, Vulnerability and the Human Voice

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

GABI is a composer and vocalist who brings together elements of classical music, electronica and the expressive vulnerability of the human voice.

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Winter Culture Scene: Music

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cultural offerings for the 2017 Winter season continue with a look at the must-see musical performances. 

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Listen: Daniel Wohl on Physical Performance and Electronic Sound

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

For composer Daniel Wohl, the distinction between a physical performer and an electronic sound is inconsequential. For this episode of LPR Live, we take in excerpts from "Holographic."

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Waiting in Line at The Polls? Here's Your Election Day Playlist

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

John Schaefer, host of WNYC's Soundcheck and New Sounds, gives us a playlist for your visit to the polls and to get you through the day.

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Man Meets Machine on Dan Trueman's 'Nostalgic Synchronic'

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Composer Dan Trueman is the inventor of a new instrument: the prepared digital piano. On this LPR Live, we hear So Percussion's Adam Sliwinski perform Trueman's 'Nostalgic Synchronic.'

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Watsky, To Infinity and Beyond

Monday, October 31, 2016

The unconventional hip-hop artist and poet visits the Soundcheck studio. 

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Band of Skulls, In Studio

Thursday, October 27, 2016

British trio's massive riffs stripped to their...skeletal form.

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Listen: Port St. Willow Brings 'Syncope' to Life at Le Poisson Rouge

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Port St. Willow, the project of Brooklyn-based Nicholas Principe, performed its second improvisational, atmospheric album "Syncope" at Le Poisson Rouge on November 17, 2015.

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