Terrance McKnight, a host on WQXR, New York City’s classical music station, is taking a leave of abscene to write a book about race and classical music. From October 15 – November 12, McKnight has invited five of his friends and fellow New Yorkers to take the host’s chair and curate their own classical music playlists.
October 15: The series kicks off with Brian Lehrer, host of the legendary, Peabody Award-winning eponymous show on WQXR’s sister station, WNYC. Making his WQXR debut, Lehrer — who plays the flute in his spare time — will share a variety of wind repertoire from home and abroad.
October 22: Acclaimed violinist Kelly Hall-Thompkins, who was named a “New Yorker of the Year” by The New York Times and featured in Smithsonian Museum for African-American History, will share the music that first brought her to the genre and continues to inspire her, including works by Debussy, Mahler, and Brahms.
October 29: Award-winning chef, international restaurateur, and New York Times bestselling author Marcus Samuelsson will focus on composers of African descent (with a special nod to his adopted home of Harlem), with a side of food-inspired repertoire as well. The evening will include everything from ragtime, blues and stride to works by Florence Price and Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
November 5: World-renowned operatic baritone and champion of art song Thomas Hampson will share some of his favorite arias and songs.
November 12: A fifth guest host will be announced in the coming weeks.
The guest host series airs Thursdays from October 15 – November 12 at 7pm on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York and on wqxr.org.
In addition, WQXR hosts Paul Cavalconte and Lauren Rico will fill in for McKnight throughout his leave of absence.