Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) presents the "Hero of Labour" award to conductor Valery Gergiev, head of the Mariinsky Theatre. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (center), and Speaker of the House John Boehner are three key lawmakers in the government shut down and debt ceiling crisis. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra gave the final performance in this year's Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2013. The program was of all 20th-century Russian music: Shchedrin's Slava, Slava; Schnittke's Viola Concerto; and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. Torsten Kjellstrand for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Torsten Kjellstrand for NPR

Yannick Nezet-Seguin leads the Philadelphia Orchestra, in concert at Carnegie Hall. Torsten Kjellstrand/NPR hide caption

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Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations. Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics hide caption

itoggle caption Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics

The Houston Symphony and conductor Hans Graf presented an all-Shostakovich evening for their evening at the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hal on May 7, 2012. They played two rarely heard works in powerful performances: the bitingly satirical Anti-Formalist Rayok, with soloist Mikhail Svetlov (pictured), as well as the gargantuan Symphony No. 11. Torsten Kjellstrand/Torsten Kjellstrand for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Torsten Kjellstrand/Torsten Kjellstrand for NPR