One of the questions I'm most often asked as a musician is, where do you find good new music to listen to? The tricky part of that question is, of course, the "good" part--it's easy to find new stuff, but who has time to sort through all the mediocre-to-bad stuff to find what's worthwhile?
Fortunately, some folks are consistently seeking in their listening, and they help the rest of us by acting as pre-screeners. You can find these year-end, best-of lists all over the place currently, but I wanted to share just two I found quite worthwhile.
First is Q2 Music's 2014 New Music Countdown. Q2 (WQXR on the radio) teamed with NPR Classical to poll listeners on the 100 greatest composed concert works of the past 100 years. Many favorites are of course missing (only 100??) but this is a pretty darn good list, especially if you may be intrigued by more contemporary concert music but have no idea where to start.
Second is a question on the always-terrific AskMetafilter: Can you point me towards some 2014 'best-of' musical playlists? So many great answers, many linked to Spotify playlists, so your gratification can be appropriately immediate. These answers center around songs and popular musical styles, and it's terrific to have some help in finding what's good. (Especially when one considers Sturgeon's Law.)
Bonus link, from this past summer: four young songwriters you should be listening to.