Anna Thorvaldsdottír's music evokes the beautifully austere landscapes of her native Iceland.
Saga Sigurdardottir/Courtesy of the artist
August 19, 2015 With flashes of lyricism, a young composer excels at weaving sound textures together to create distinct atmospheres. Hear the album, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble.
Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ gives a Gershwin classic an expressive, evocative twist with the đàn bâù, a traditional Vietnamese instrument.
Nguyen Nhat Hoang/Courtesy of the artist
August 11, 2015 Performer and composer Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ gives the Gershwin classic a distinct Vietnamese twist with the đàn bâù, an evocative traditional instrument.
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William Schimmel distills Mahler's lengthy Ninth Symphony down to under seven minutes.
Illustration by Joan Chiverton
August 4, 2015 Accordionist William Schimmel creates a daring yet touching six-minute distillation of Mahler's mighty Ninth, with detours for tango and trumpet solos by Wynton Marsalis.
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Denise Burt's album cover designs are as cutting-edge as the music they represent.
July 30, 2015 For graphic designer Denise Burt, knowing little about classical music actually helped her create cutting-edge album covers. See her work and hear the music that inspired it.
Pianist Ivan Moravec was known for his lyrical playing and recordings of Chopin and Mozart.
July 28, 2015 Eschewing a glitzy career, the pianist, who was heard in the movie Amadeus, earned a reputation as one of the greats of his generation, especially praised for his Chopin performances.
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July 28, 2015 Designing classical album covers is hard. But being new to the music makes it easier for Denise Burt.
A rehearsal for the first fully staged U.S. production of Ethel Smyth's 1904 opera The Wreckers at the Bard Music Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Cory Weaver/Bard SummerScape
July 23, 2015 A skilled mountain climber who knew Tchaikovsky and Brahms, Ethel Smyth was a big personality whose politically charged opera The Wreckers gets its first fully staged production in the U.S.
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The Icelandic group Nordic Affect has commissioned new works for its forthcoming album, Clockworking.
July 15, 2015 A quartet of Icelandic women imagines the clicks and whirs of a giant clock. The blend of strings and electronics mimics the interaction of humans and machines.
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Tenor Jon Vickers in the title role of Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1983.
James Heffernan/Metropolitan Opera Archives
July 13, 2015 With his large, electrifying voice and his penetrating portrayals, Canadian tenor Jon Vickers thrilled opera lovers for more than 30 years.
Kirill Petrenko will become the next chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in 2018.
Wilfried Hösl/Berlin Philharmonic
July 7, 2015 When the little-known Russian native came to guest conduct the orchestra, horn player Sarah Willis says, it was "love at first sight" — and his passion for music sets him apart.
Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld and his wife Malwina were Wagner's original Tristan and Isolde in 1865.
Joseph Albert/Wikimedia Commons
June 10, 2015 Wagner's epic meditation on love turns 150. Projected on a cosmic level, the music triggered a seismic shift in Western music.
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Danish composer Carl Nielsen wrote six exuberant symphonies.
Royal Danish Library
June 9, 2015 To mark the sesquicentennial of the Danish composer's birth, music critic Michael Steinberg introduces Nielsen's exuberant music, confirming his stature as one of the truly great symphonists.
The members of Sō Percussion will bang on almost anything.
May 22, 2015 This week's Drum Fill Friday guest quizmasters are from the internationally acclaimed ensemble Sō Percussion. Hear the fill and match it to the piece.
Tiny Desk Concert with Jason Vieaux and Yolanda Kondonassis.
May 22, 2015 Watch two master musicians combine the sounds of harp and guitar into a singular, evocative instrument in music influenced by Africa and Asia.
Pianist Bruce Brubaker has been playing Philip Glass' music for more than 20 years.
May 19, 2015 In Philip Glass' music, the pianist shifts between delicate oscillation and stormy arpeggios.
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