Creative Director of Music & Arts
Clemency Burton-Hill: From Underground Garage DJ in London To Creative Director At WQXR
What’s the difference between a resolution in a Bach sonata and a beat dropped by a DJ in a club? According to Clemency Burton-Hill, not much! Clemmie has always been equally obsessed with classical, hip-hop, funk, jazz, and Motown — a blend of genres that she never viewed as eclectic at all. She first became captivated by classical music at age two when a television program featuring a violinist left her begging her mom for a violin of her own. By the time she was a teenager, Clemmie was actively pursuing a career as a professional violinist, but she had also invested in a pair of Technics 1210s and devoted her spare hours to spinning everything from Miami funk to old classical vinyl.
For Clemmie, music is about emotional connection. The feeling of bliss she had gigging as an underground garage DJ in London is the same as when she listens to a Bach sonata — no matter the label, it’s all just music. (“You don’t have to earn your right to a genre. You don’t need to be an expert or have some elusive privilege in order to be let in. The music is yours for the taking, all you have to do is sit back and let it wash over you,” she says.) As WQXR’s Creative Director, this is precisely the experience Clemmie cultivates for listeners every day. Her passion for curating meaningful emotional journeys through music drives her every decision, and her warm and welcoming personality serves as an invitation to all — a proclamation of the inherent humanity we all share and the myriad joys we can experience together through the universal language of music.