An iconic summer series that celebrates classical music is hitting New York City’s radio airwaves next week.
WQXR, New York City’s classical music station, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts are teaming up to bring Lincoln Center’s annual Mostly Mozart Festival to the radio. “Mostly Mozart Festival on WQXR” will reimagine the series, which has been canceled for the first time since its founding in 1966 due to COVID-19.
“Mostly Mozart Festival on WQXR” will air on WQXR 105.9 will air from Monday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 16.
“WQXR is proud to collaborate with Lincoln Center to bring audiences the iconic Mostly Mozart Festival at a time when we need the uplift, reflection and connection that music and the arts can provide,” said Matt Abramovitz, Vice President of Programming, WQXR. “While building on the creativity of the original live festival, Mostly Mozart Festival on WQXR allows us to use our platform to not only bring deeply moving and inventive musical performances to a broader broadcast and digital audience, but also to present critical conversations about the urgent issues of our time. We are especially proud to offer a closer look at Blue as part of our Festival programming; a work that is so resonant with the current moment. Combining Mozart’s enduring legacy with the most forward-thinking artistry of today is what’s made this festival so vital in New York City, and WQXR is glad to carry on that legacy this summer.”
The weeklong festival will kick off with a series of pop-up outdoor performances across all five New York City boroughs will stream live on WQXR’s Facebook page. Throughout each day, WQXR’s hosts will share music and stories about Mozart and his legacy, with WQXR’s Terrance McKnight presenting full-length archival concerts and a range of programming that illuminates how racism and inequality have shaped classical music, and celebrates Black artists’ contributions and innovations to the artform.
Opening night will feature a “mashup” of Mozart’s eternal Requiem—the movements he penned himself—seamlessly interwoven with the timeless music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, featuring his Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Te Deum, and Mozart-Adagio. The festival will also feature a radio documentary about the opera Blue, which was originally scheduled to have its New York City premiere at Mostly Mozart this summer. The week will conclude with a special performance of Beethoven’s legendary 1808 Akademie led by Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
A full schedule for the Mostly Mozart Festival is available on the Lincoln Center website.
“While gathering together for live performances remains on pause during the global pandemic, we are delighted to be partnering with WQXR to reimagine this New York City summer staple for the current time, sharing and celebrating Mozart’s innovative spirit, creativity, and joy through the radio airwaves,” said Hanako Yamaguchi, Director of Music Programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “The rich week of offerings provides a window into the concert hall experience, reminding audiences of the power of music and the arts to connect us all, as well as their innate ability to speak to important issues of today—from the timely opera Blue about racial injustice, to the unconventional and contemplative “mashup” of Mozart and Pärt, culminating in an epic and triumphant Beethoven experience. We are thrilled to bring these groundbreaking musical works and artists, and surrounding conversations, to the homes of listeners across the five boroughs and beyond.”
“Mostly Mozart Festival on WQXR” will air on WQXR 105.9 FM for listeners in the New York and tri-state area and will stream at WQXR.org. Programming from the Festival will remain available on-demand for 30 days.