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WQXR And Lincoln Center Announce MOSTLY MOZART FESTIVAL Radio Season

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WQXR, New York City's classical music station, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today announced a partnership to bring the annual Mostly Mozart Festival to the New York City radio airwaves Monday, August 10 through Sunday, August 16.

"Mostly Mozart Festival on WQXR" will reimagine Lincoln Center's iconic summer series- cancelled for the first time since its founding in 1966 due to COVID-19-as a weeklong multimedia festival that celebrates Mozart's prodigious talent along with conversations on some of the most urgent social issues of our time. Momentous events and premieres scheduled for this year's in-person festival will be recreated through archival performances and new artist interviews.

Broadly accessible on air at 105.9FM and online at www.wqxr.org, the Festival invites a new generation of audiences to experience the joys of classical music. On opening day, a series of pop-up outdoor performances across all five New York City boroughs will stream live on WQXR's Facebook page, and later in the week "Camp Wolfgang" will offer day-long programming for children. Throughout each day, WQXR's hosts will share music and stories about Mozart and his legacy. Each night, WQXR's Terrance McKnight will present 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. Highlights include an exploration of the life and career of African-French composer and violinist Joseph Boulogne ("Chevalier de Saint-Georges") and his unique place in Western classical music history during the time of Mozart, and Black Experience in the Concert Hall: The Mozart Effect, a conversation with Black artists discussing their relationship to Mozart and their experiences within the classical world.

FEATURED PROGRAMMING

"Mostly Mozart Festival on WQXR" will begin with a special opening night "mashup" of Mozart's eternal Requiem- the movements he penned himself-seamlessly interwoven with the timeless music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, featuring his elegiac Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, ethereal Te Deum, and Mozart-Adagio (Aug 10, 8pm ET). The program is inspired by the Lincoln Center commission Divine Connection that was set to open the Festival and have its world premiere this summer with direction by Elkhanah Pulitzer and choreography by Chanel DaSilva, and contemplates how communities of people unify and collectively experience rites of passage through music and ritual, creating a space for connection and reflection at the Festival's outset.

The centerpiece of the festival is a radio documentary about the opera Blue (Aug 14, 8pm ET), which was originally scheduled to have its New York City premiere at Mostly Mozart this summer. Hailed by The New York Times for its "elegant" libretto, "vibrant performance from an orchestra of nearly 50 players," and "superb" cast, Blue centers on a Black family in present-day Harlem coming to terms with the sudden death of their teenage son at the hands of a police officer. The documentary will pair exclusive musical highlights from the opera's debut at the 2019 Glimmerglass Festival, enriched by commentary from its creators, composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist/director Tazewell Thompson. Musicologist Naomi André will offer context and insight into Blue's creation and enduring resonance. Their voices will be interwoven and richly scored with music from the opera, bringing the story to life in an immersive narrative audio experience.

The Festival closes with an epic recreation of Beethoven's legendary 1808 Akademie, the most important concert of the iconic composer's lifetime (Aug 16, 5pm ET). The program underscores Beethoven's humanistic message: his ideals of democracy, liberty, equality, and fraternity, and the balance that he strove for between force and love. Though this presentation had been intended to be performed by the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, led by Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director Louis Langrée, the broadcast was recorded on March 1, 2020 with Langrée conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and featuring the May Festival Chorus prepared by their Director of Choruses Robert Porco.

The Akademie concert-which Beethoven organized on his own and also served as piano soloist- illustrated his mastery as a composer of symphonic, sacred, and theatrical works, as well as his virtuosity at the keyboard. It may

have been the most important "new music" concert in history: on the program were the world premieres of his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and the Choral Fantasy, as well as the first public performance of the Fourth Piano Concerto. The program also showcased three movements from his Mass in C, the dramatic concert aria Ah! Perfido, and an improvised Fantasia. Pianist Inon Barnatan is soloist in the concerto and the Choral Fantasy, and extemporized his own Fantasia in the style Beethoven. Soloists for the Choral Fantasy and Mass in C are soprano Janai Brugger, mezzo-soprano Joyner Horn, tenor Thomas Cooley, tenor Victor Cardamone, and bass Nicholas Brownlee.

ADDITIONAL FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

• "Mostly Mozart Across the Boroughs": pop-up outdoor performances across all five boroughs of New York City featuring clarinetist Anthony McGill, violinist Curtis J. Stewart, violinist Mazz Swift, pianist Sugar Vendil, and multi-instrumentalists The Villalobos Brothers. Performances will stream via WQXR Facebook live. (Aug 10, starting at 10am ET)

• "A Little Night Music": Intimate late-night concert broadcasts featuring archival concert performances from the Mostly Mozart Festival series of the same name, as well as recordings from several chamber musicians, soloists and other artists who would have appeared in person this summer. Hosted by Helga Davis nightly at 11pm ET (Aug 10 - 15) and featuring the radio premiere of a new recording of an excerpt from The Black Clown, a music-theater piece adapted from Langston Hughes' poem, created by Davóne Tines, Michael Schachter, and Zack Winokur, which had its New York Premiere at the Mostly Mozart Festival in 2019. (Aug 14, 11pm ET)

• "Black Experience in the Concert Hall: The Mozart Effect": WQXR's Terrance McKnight hosts a conversation with Black classical musicians about their relationship to Mozart's music, bringing awareness to their experiences in the industry, and looking towards the future of classical music. Guests include violinist Sanford Allen, the first Black instrumentalist in the New York Philharmonic; genre-defying vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin; vocalist Julia Bullock; tenor Lawrence Brownlee; and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra cellist Alvin McCall. (Aug 13, 7pm ET)

• "Joseph Boulogne: The Chevalier of Music and Revolution": A retrospective of the largely untold story of the extraordinary African-French composer and violinist Joseph Boulogne ("Chevalier de Saint-Georges"), whose artistic excellence and virtuosity matched any of his contemporaries, Haydn and Mozart among them, and whom John Adams referred to as the most accomplished man in all of Europe in riding, shooting, fencing, dancing and music. (Aug 12, 8pm ET)

• "Camp Wolfgang" for Kids: A one-day virtual event for young children with concerts, Pop-Up Classrooms, crafts, and more, presented in partnership with Lincoln Center Education. (Aug 13, starting at 11am ET)

• Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin shares his favorite Mozart performances and talks about the composer's influence on his life on WQXR's Sunday noontime show, "This Week with Yannick." (Aug 16, 12pm ET)

• Featured archival performances by celebrated artists throughout the week including Lawrence Brownlee, Martin Fröst, Renée Fleming, and Pekka Kuusisto.

"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 Ci


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