Former BBC Radio Presenter and Author to Forge a Creative Vision for the Future of WQXR and Classical Music
(New York, NY – May 31, 2018) – WQXR – the leading classical radio station in the United States – today announced that Clemency Burton-Hill, a writer, violinist and prominent music broadcaster, will join as its first Creative Director, Music & Arts.
In this newly-created role, Burton-Hill will forge WQXR’s creative and audience development vision as the brand expands its digital footprint and redefines the role classical music can play in contemporary culture. In partnership with arts and culture leaders from across New York Public Radio and the New York City creative community, Burton-Hill will lead the development of new digital content, live events for The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space and partner venues, and other to-be-announced, cross-disciplinary programming and initiatives. She will also host select radio, podcast and live event programs, and draw on her unique breadth of experience and expertise to serve as an ambassador for WQXR and classical music. She will report to Shannon Connolly, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Music of New York Public Radio and will begin on September 4.
“Our mission is to create a movement that brings a larger, and more diverse audience to classical music, wherever and however they choose to listen” said Connolly. “As a broadcaster, musician, writer, and evangelist for music and the arts, there is no better person than Clemency to help us redefine classical music for the digital age. And there is no better time than today. Mainstream adoption of streaming music means consumers now have the entire history of recorded music in their pockets, and can happily move between music genres. We believe WQXR, which has been celebrating and curating classical music for 80 years, is uniquely positioned to demystify the genre, build on-ramps for new audiences, and become the destination and trusted brand of choice for classical fans worldwide.”
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining New York Public Radio as its first Creative Director, Music & Arts,” said Burton-Hill. “As a broadcaster, writer, musician and producer, I am committed to bringing the joys of classical music and the arts to as wide and diverse an audience as possible. I have long admired the work of WQXR for its shared ambition, and it will be a privilege to help lead the creative direction of an organization that is already a byword for world-class broadcasting excellence. Digital platforms are evolving alongside a renewed interest in the live experience. I believe we have an opportunity – and an obligation – to cultivate and engage new audiences through inventive programming that not only supports our mission, but champions the artists and institutions that help bring the world's greatest music alive. I very much look forward to joining Shannon and her outstanding team at WQXR and returning to New York, my favorite city on earth.”
Burton-Hill has been one of the UK’s most prominent arts and music broadcasters for the past decade. As the host of BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast Show, she helped to welcome a new audience to classical music, building on her own deep love of the art form and her background as an award-winning violinist. She began her broadcasting career in 2008 as a television presenter on the BBC Proms and has since worked on many prestigious music and arts programs including the Leeds International Piano Competition and BBC Young Musician of the Year. In 2009, she began working on Radio 3, where she has presented a wide range of other programs for the network, including live concerts such as the Last Night of the Proms, a weekly broadcast from Wigmore Hall, and the New Generation Artists strand. Since 2015 she has hosted the live global cinema relays from the Royal Opera House. Burton-Hill is a co-founder of the multi-award-winning chamber ensemble Aurora Orchestra, and a co-creator and co-curator, with conductor Daniel Harding, of the Interplay festival in Stockholm, which brought together classical music with diverse other subjects including particle physics, neuroscience, mathematics, food and art history.
Outside of broadcasting, Burton-Hill is an esteemed journalist and writer. Her work has been published in every major UK publication, including The Economist, the Financial Times, the Guardian, Observer and Independent, and has included profiles of writers, musicians and other luminaries of the arts. She has been the music columnist for BBC Culture since 2013 and chief interviewer for BBC Music Magazine since 2017. The author of two novels, both published by Headline, in October she published her first non-fiction book, Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day, which suggests a piece of music for each day of the year with engaging background and context. With its accompanying playlists published on Spotify and Apple Music, it has been a bestseller in the UK, and rights have been sold everywhere from China to Europe. The US edition will be published in November by HarperCollins.