John Schaefer

Updated
30 Nov 2016

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John Schaefer and Laurie Anderson, 2005. Photo courtesy of Irene Trudel.

"If you like music, chances are you could like much more of it than you ever would've expected. You just need a chance to hear it."

Since 2002, WNYC radio producer John Schaefer has hosted Soundcheck, a show featuring daily live music and criticism. He has also hosted and produced WNYC's radio series New Sounds since 1982—the "number one radio show for the Global Village," according to Billboard—and the New Sounds Live concert series since 1986. Schaefer has written extensively about music, including New Sounds: A Listener's Guide to New Music (Harper & Row, 1987; Virgin Books, 1990); The Cambridge Companion to Singing: World Music (Cambridge University Press, 2000); and the TV program Bravo Profile: Bobby McFerrin (2003). He was a contributing editor for Spin and Ear magazines, and his liner notes appear on more than 100 recordings, ranging from The Music of Cambodia to Yo-Yo Ma and Terry Riley.

In 2003, Schaefer was honored with the American Music Center's prestigious Letter of Distinction for his "substantial contributions to advancing the field of contemporary American music in the United States and abroad." Schaefer has participated in Center events such as 2011's "New Frontiers in Singing and Electronic Music," featuring Bobby McFerrin, Tanya Tagaq, George Lewis, and others. He served as the Center's music panel chair in 2012 and he was the first to be profiled in the Center's American Impresario series.