Part mixtape, part sonic love-letter, The Open Ears Project is a daily podcast in which people share the classical track that means the most to them and why.
Each episode of The Open Ears Project offers a brief and soulful glimpse into other human lives, helping us to hear this music - and each other - differently.
Guests from the worlds of film, books, dance, comedy and fashion as well as firefighters, taxi drivers and teachers share cherished musical memories and remind us that extraordinary things can happen when we simply stop and listen.
Broadcast: 10 am Monday 21 October on RNZ Concert
Actor Alec Baldwin talks about how Aram Khachaturian's Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia revives and energizes him.
"I find that my path with classical music is like a path in the woods that you just keep going down and down and down.
"There's just so much profound, boundless creativity and artistry onstage. When I watch the Philharmonic, I cry. The tears just come rolling down my eyes, every time. I go, "Look at these people, look at them"." - Alec Baldwin
Broadcast: 10 am Tuesday 22 October on RNZ Concert
New York City firefighter Rob Vogt talks about how Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries helped him cope in the aftermath of 9/11.
"The music definitely gives you an adrenaline rush you get when we're fighting fires and everything and um, and I really needed to listen to something like this.... I don't dwell on the bad days all the time when I hear this song."
Broadcast: 10 am Wednesday 23 October on RNZ Concert
Yoga teacher Connie Viglietti tells us about how she remembers her beloved Grandma Ginger by singing one of her favorite songs, Schubert’s Ave Maria, and contemplates the transporting power that music has to connect us to the people we love the most, even if they are no longer with us.
Broadcast: 10 am Thursday 24 October on RNZ Concert
Guitarist Milos Karadaglic explores his deep connection to the longing for home expressed in Francisco Tarrega's Lagrima.
"... the magic is in between the notes and it's how much time you take in between the notes, how you choose the color, and this piece is so personal and it's all about that nostalgia and that desire to just be home." - Milos Karadaglic
Broadcast: 10 am Friday 25 October on RNZ Concert
Podcaster and author Aminatou Sow talks about hearing the Juba Dance, from Florence Price’s first symphony, on the day she received her cancer diagnosis, and how the piece’s mood of joyful defiance supported her in the face of adversity.
Broadcast: 10 am Saturday 26 October on RNZ Concert
Novelist Ian McEwan talks about how this slow, contemplative second movement of J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins - in which the instruments answer one another and play in unison like a pair of lovers - walked him through a teenage “eruption of self-awareness” and longing, and later in life helped him process the loss of a beloved friend.
Broadcast: 10 am Sunday 27 October on RNZ Concert
Conductor Eric Jacobsen discusses Franz Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1 and how it connects him to his mother, who inspired him to become a musician.
Listen out next week for director Sam Mendes, comedienne Rachel Strauss-Muniz, and opera singer Jamie Barton.