BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway)

An Urban Cantata for Soprano, Baritone and Piano Four-Hands

Commissioned by Two Sides Sounding for the 2013 Queens New Music Festival

Lyrics: Daniel Neer

Music: Robinson McClellan


BQE is an urban cantata by composer Robinson McClellan and lyricist Daniel Neer, which juxtaposes the tempestuous relationship of master city builder Robert Moses and the writer/activist Jane Jacobs, with the controversial planning of one of New York City’s most audacious super-highways: The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Through the imagined communiqué of letters, phone calls, memos and town hall meetings, the aggressive modern-city vision of Moses is matched by the grassroots-oriented social consciousness of Jacobs, portraying two radically different visions of urban development and renewal during the second half of the Twentieth Century.


Performance History 

May 18, 2013

World Premiere

Two Sides Sounding at the Queens New Music Festival

The Little Theater, Queens NY

Daniel Neer (baritone), Eleanor Taylor (soprano)

Mila Henry (piano), Lucas Wong (piano)

Ted Gorodetzky (direction and visual media)



BQE on


Video: Composition Premiere