Donald Palumbo became the Met's chorus master in the 2007-2008 season. He sang in choruses all his life, he says, and eventually worked his way up without any formal conservatory training. Marty Sohl/Courtesy of the Met hide caption

itoggle caption Marty Sohl/Courtesy of the Met

Composer Julia Wolfe has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields, an oratorio about coal miners and their families. Peter Serling hide caption

itoggle caption Peter Serling

Viola da gamba master Jordi Savall leads his ensemble Le Concert des Nations in a performance at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on Apr. 16, 2015. AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption AJ Wilhelm for NPR

"I'm more and more coming to the idea," composer Philip Glass says, "that it's the lineage and the connection to the past and the connection to the future — that is the real connection." Eamonn McCabe/Redferns hide caption

itoggle caption Eamonn McCabe/Redferns