Five performances. Five boroughs. Five chances to watch live. It’s a great and secret show for New York and the whole wide world.
We’re kicking off the Mostly Mozart Festival on WQXR with musicians performing short pop-up concerts featuring familiar melodies and their own original compositions at outdoor locations across New York City. A lucky few will stumble upon them in person, but everyone can join us online to hear them live and catch a glimpse of five different neighborhood spots to appreciate summer in the city.
We’ll share these performances throughout the day from 10 am to 9 pm via Facebook Live. The performances will not be streamed or archived on our website. If you miss them live, we’ll be streaming them as one show right here on our website on Friday, August 14.
Sign up using “get tickets button” at the top of this page to receive notifications each time we are about to go live!
Artists and Performance Schedule
Credit: Photo courtesy of the artist
Grammy nominated violinist Curtis Stewart enjoys an eclectic career bouncing between various realms of music: from MTV specials with Wyclef Jean and sold out shows at Madison Square Garden with Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, and Seal, to stints at the Kennedy center with the Jimmy Heath Big Band and performance installations at the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Curtis has performed as a classical soloist at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, made chamber music appearances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Newport Jazz Festival. His ensembles PUBLIQuartet and The Mighty Third Rail realize a vision to find personal and powerful connections between styles, cultures and musics. Curtis has worked with today’s forward thinking musicians including Henry Threadgill, Jason Moran, members of International Contemporary Ensemble, Billy Childs, the JACK quartet, members of Snarky Puppy, Don Byron, Linda Oh, Ari Hoenig, Matt Wilson, among many others.
An avid teacher, he has taught chamber music at the Juilliard School, orchestra/strings/music theory at the Laguardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts for ten years, and is currently the Chamber Music and New Juilliard Ensemble Manager at the Juilliard School, in New York City. Curtis graduated magna cum laude from the Eastman School of Music with a BA of Mathematics from the University of Rochester.
Credit: Photo by David Finlayson
Clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. He serves as the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—that orchestra’s first African American principal player—and maintains a dynamic international solo and chamber music career. Previous to his New York Philharmonic appointment, he served as Principal Clarinet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (The New York Times), McGill appears regularly as a soloist with top orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, Baltimore Symphony, and San Diego Symphony. As a chamber musician, McGill is a favorite collaborator of the Brentano, Daedalus, Guarneri, JACK, Miró, Pacifica, Shanghai, Takacs, and Tokyo Quartets, as well as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Gloria Chien, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, Mitsuko Uchida, and Lang Lang. He has led tours with Musicians from Marlboro and regularly performs for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
McGill is an ardent advocate for helping music education reach underserved communities and for addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music. He is Artistic Director of Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program (MAP), and also a faculty member at Juilliard and at the Curtis Institute. He notably performed at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams, alongside violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Gabriela Montero.
Credit: Photo by Michael Leviton
Sugar Vendil is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. Her artistic practice is rooted in rigorous discipline as a musician and gradually expanded into performance that integrates music, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano.
Vendil was recently awarded an ETHEL Homebaked commission, an ACF | Create commission to write a work for Boston-based duo Box Not Found and a Chamber Music America commission to write a new work for her ensemble, The Nouveau Classical Project, which she founded in 2008. She currently holds fellowships at The National Arts Club and Sokoloff Arts. In 2019, Vendil was Artist in Residence at High Concept Labs in Chicago and Target Margin Theater, a Resident Artist at Mabou Mines, and was a finalist in National Sawdust’s 2019 Hildegard Competition.
As a 2016 Fellow in the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making, Vendil was encouraged her to further pursue composition and performance making. Other residencies include Marble House Project, Summer Labs at National Sawdust, Avaloch Farm, Earthdance, the A-Z West Wagon Station Encampment, Arts Letters & Numbers, and Yaddo.
She has performed at a variety of venues, ranging from arts spaces such as BAM Fisher, Dixon Place, Knockdown Center’s Ready Room, MoMa PS1, National Sawdust, the New School’s Glassbox Theater, The Stone, and Roulette; to galleries and spaces such as The Development Gallery, Milk Studios, and Spring Studios.
Vendil is an advocate of the oxford comma, is obsessed with her cat Coco, and has an excellent memory.
Credit: Photo courtesy of the artist
Mazz Swift is a violinist, composer, conductor, singer, bandleader and educator. As a violinist and singer, she has performed on stages including Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Müpa Budapest, and David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center. As a composer, Swift’s works include commissions by The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Neues Kabarett, New Harmony Music Festival and the Blaffer Foundation. As an educator, Swift has performed and taught workshops in free improvisation and “Conduction” (conducted improvisation) on six continents and is a performing member and teaching artist with the acclaimed Silkroad Ensemble. She is also a Carnegie Hall teaching artist, where she leads professional development workshops on improvisation for symphony orchestra members and their students, writes and records lullabies with incarcerated mothers and mothers-to-be at Rikers Island, and coaches the inmates at Sing Sing Penitentiary on string studies and composition.
Her current collaborations include the INVISIBLE(s) Project with fellow Silkroad artist, bagpiper and pianist Cristina Pato—a project that commissions new works for the multi-instrumental duo on the topic of invisibility; and an ongoing collaboration with the improvisational string trio HEAR in NOW, with whom she won the MacArthur Foundation’s International Cultural Exchanges Grant for a two-year collaboration with the Ethiopian band QWANQWA. Swift is a Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, currently working on a series of projects that involve Conduction and center protest, spirituals, and the Ghanaian concept of ‘Sankofa’: looking back to learn how to move forward.
Credit: Photo by Pablo Irastorza
*For this performance, Ernesto and Alberto Villalobos will be joined by Victor Murillo on upright bass.
Following their sold-out debut with the San Francisco Symphony, the Villalobos Brothers found their 2020 musical adventure continuing as they performed with Grammy Winner Arturo O’Farrill and many other legendary musicians in the film “Fandango At The Wall” (SONY Music). Directed by Varda Bar-Kar, the feature will be executive produced by Quincy Jones, Andrew Young and Carlos Santana.
Winners of WNYC and WQXR’s Battle of the Boroughs and the Vox Pop Award, the Villalobos Brothers have played concerts and festivals around the world, including most recently at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Their list of records and collaborations includes some of the most legendary musicians in the world; Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Anita Tijoux, Antonio Sanchez, the Chieftains, among many others.
Masterfully blending the traditional rhythms and melodies of their native Veracruz, Mexico with the harmonies of jazz and classical music, Ernesto Villalobos, Alberto Villalobos and Luis Villalobos deliver an intoxicating brew of musical virtuosity that awakens the senses as it redefines the notions of Latin music.
Ricardo Fernández, Audio Producer
Jennifer Keeney Sendrow, Producer
Joann Klimkiewicz, Web Producer
David McLean, Video Producer
Utsuki Otsuka, Line Producer
Alexandra Pinel, Assistant Production Manager
Cameron Thompkins, Graphics and Digital Content Producer
Mara Vietch, Marketing Coordinator
Thanks to the whole Mostly Mozart Festival team at WQXR, and to New York Public Radio’s Sahar Baharloo, Theodora Kuslan, Celia Muller, Maria Silva and Jennifer Houlihan Roussel.
Artist honoraria made possible through the generosity of The Jerome L. Greene Foundation.