WQXR presents Beginner’s Ear, a guided, live music meditation series every Friday from January 17 through March 6. Each meditation will feature live music from a different artist.
Dive into an hour of lunchtime bliss with guided meditation and a live performance of music for one, two and three violins played by members of the stylistically omnivorous Quodlibet Ensemble. The violinists Katie Hyun, Beth Wenstrom and George Meyer perform songs, dances and instrumental conversation by Astor Piazzolla, Béla Bartók, and Georg Philip Telemann.
Unplug and recharge your batteries during a 60-minute deep dive into the art of listening with guided meditation and live music. Beginner’s Ear brings you closer to the music by opening the mind to both silence and sound. Through guided meditation, participants reach a deep state of attentive calm, out of which a live performance unfolds with visceral beauty.
Hosted by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim. Meditation led by Thomas Droge, founder of the Pathfinder Institute.
Beginner’s Ear was created by New York Times contributing critic Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim as a way to dissolve the mental static that so often gets in the way of a clear connection to a musical performance. Each 60-minute session begins with a mindfulness teacher leading participants in a 15-minute guided meditation. Out of the resulting deep stillness, a 30-minute musical performance emerges, unfolds in the space, and recedes back into the rich calm. The event wraps up with a short conversation, moderated by Corinna, about aspects of mindful listening.
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim is a writer, music critic and the founder of Beginner’s Ear. Thomas Droge is an author, teacher, and Chinese medicine practitioner with deep roots in the Daoist tradition, as well as the meditation consultant for Beginner’s Ear.
A winner of Astral’s 2016 National Auditions, violinist Katie Hyun has appeared as soloist with the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Columbia Festival Orchestra, among others. Praised for her “sensitivity and top shelf artistry” (Cleveland.com), she has also been featured as concerto soloist with South Korea’s Busan Sinfonietta and Incheon Philharmonic. On Baroque violin, Ms. Hyun has recorded and frequently appears with Trinity Baroque Orchestra, the Sebastians, and New York Baroque Incorporated.
Ms. Hyun is the founder and director of Quodlibet Ensemble, a small chamber orchestra that debuted to great acclaim in 2008, and was a founding member of the award-winning Amphion String Quartet.
Beth Wenstrom is a dynamic performer, taking her skills as chamber musician, soloist, concertmaster and orchestral violinist around the US and internationally with a variety of ensembles. She has been praised for her “vitality and eloquent phrasing, as well as agility” (The Strad) and The New Yorker has described her chamber performances as “elegant and sensual, stylishly wild.” As a soloist and concertmaster, Beth has performed with Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, Sebastian Chamber Players, New York Baroque Incorporated, Baroque Orchestra of Maine, Quodlibet Ensemble, as well as William Christie’s Les Rencontres musicales en Vendée in Thiré, France. She has appeared in the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, and TENET as well as other ensembles. Beth is a founding member of Wayward Sisters, winner of the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos Competition as well as a founding member of the “vital and vibrant” ensemble, ACRONYM (Classics Today).
George Meyer plays the violin and writes music. He has performed his own compositions in a variety of settings, including Chamber Music Northwest, Bravo! Vail, the Savannah Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Telluride and RockyGrass Bluegrass Festivals, the Charles Ives Concert Series, the Rome Chamber Music Festival, and the Kyoto International Festival. In 2016, Quodlibet Ensemble premiered his Concerto Grosso, a 15-minute work for string orchestra with solo string quartet, in New York City. He has appeared in performance with his father Edgar Meyer, and with Jerry Douglas, Mike Marshall, Sam Bush, Fred Sherry, and Paul Neubauer. Recent works include a solo violin piece (7’) for Katie Hyun (commissioned by Astral Artists) and a piece for violin and bass duo (18’), co-written and performed with his father (co-commissioned by Chamber Music Northwest and Bravo! Vail).