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John Mark Nelson performs live on The Current in the Twin Cities. Nate Ryan/The Current hide caption

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Favorite Sessions

John Mark Nelson: A Teenager With Serious Talent

The Current

The 19-year-old Twin Cities songwriter has an ear for whimsical melodies and ornate arrangements. Watch Nelson and his cadre of teenage friends make their debut on The Current, with "Reminisce."

Composer-performer Max Richter (right) brings his revamped Vivaldi to Manhattan's Le Poisson Rouge. Denise DeBelius/NPR hide caption

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Front Row

Max Richter In Concert: Reimagining Vivaldi

Q2

Max Richter grew tired of Vivaldi's warhorse The Four Seasons. But instead of writing off the piece forever, Richter rewrote it. He blended Vivaldi's work with his own music.

Courtesy of the artist

Favorite Sessions

Pianist Daniil Trifonov: Disappearing Into Chopin

WGBH Radio

Hear the 21-year-old Russian play Chopin etudes, colorful Fairy Tales by Nikolai Medtner and an explosive arrangement of music from Stravinsky's Firebird at the WGBH studios in Boston.

The Menahan Street Band performed live on KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

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Favorite Sessions

KCRW Presents: Menahan Street Band

KCRW

One of Brooklyn's funkiest bands recently took to the West Coast to visit KCRW and perform live on Morning Becomes Eclectic. Watch the Menahan Street Band perform "Make the Road By Walking."

Bat For Lashes performs live on WFUV. WFUV hide caption

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Favorite Sessions

Bat For Lashes: Balladry, On Ableton And Autoharp

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

Natasha Khan performed "Lilies" — the opening track from Bat For Lashes' third album, The Haunted Man — live at WFUV's studios in New York City.

Cantus performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 3, 2012. Ryan Smith/for NPR hide caption

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Tiny Desk

Cantus

What is it about choral music that hits on such a basic human level? The answer may be found in this performance by Cantus, the male a cappella ensemble from Minnesota, which sings three widely divergent songs from the heart.

McCoy Tyner at the SFJAZZ Center Opening Night concert. Scott Chernis/Courtesy of SFJAZZ hide caption

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Concerts

McCoy Tyner: Live At SFJAZZ

Few pianists have been as influential to modern jazz practice as McCoy Tyner. And at age 74, his driving left hand and dense chords are still in fine form. He performs at the SFJAZZ Center opening.

Saxophonists Joshua Redman (center) and Joe Lovano (left) lead a performance at the SFJAZZ Center grand opening. Scott Chernis/Courtesy of SFJAZZ hide caption

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Concerts

Joe Lovano & Joshua Redman: Live At SFJAZZ

Joshua Redman co-founded the SFJAZZ Collective. With his successor in the tenor sax chair, Joe Lovano, the band runs through "Blackwell's Message," a jaunty, open swinger.

Ben Schneider of Lord Huron sets up for his session on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

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Favorite Sessions

KCRW Presents: Lord Huron

KCRW

California transplant Ben Schneider and his groupmates were selected by KCRW as the Los Angeles band you should have known in 2012. Watch Lord Huron perform, "Time to Run."

NPR Music, WQXR and (Le) Poisson Rouge host an intimate evening of music that spans both great Western and Middle Eastern music with members of an inspiring orchestra, led by one of classical music's most eminent artists. Ryan Muir for NPR hide caption

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Classics in Concert

Daniel Barenboim And Members Of The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

WQXR radio

NPR Music, WQXR and (Le) Poisson Rouge host a evening that spans great Western and Middle Eastern music with members of an inspiring orchestra, led by one of classical music's most eminent artists.