January 30, 2013 Poulenc wrote music that popped like corks from Champagne, dizzy with the sounds of Parisian music halls and jazz. Yet he also channeled great emotional depth and spirituality. On the 50th anniversary of his death, we remember the brilliant contradictions within the French composer.
Reneé Fleming (right) and Susan Graham — two "cheerful Americans" often mistaken for each other — are planning an intimate evening of French song.
Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging
January 23, 2013 Two opera stars conjure the intimate atmosphere of the late 19th-century Parisian salon, telling stories and singing songs by Saint-Saëns, Fauré and Debussy.
The mountainside Montserrat monastery, north of Barcelona, inspired Paul Moravec to write a cello concerto.
Luis Davilla/Cover/Getty Images
January 22, 2013 The Pulitzer Prize winner has written pieces inspired by places as far flung as Venice, New Hampshire and a monastery in the mountains of Northern Spain. These dramatically diverse locations spawned picturesque musical ideas ranging from classical to jazz to klezmer.
Martin Luther King Jr. waves to supporters during the 1963 March on Washington and President Barack Obama speaks at his first inauguration in 2009.
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
January 19, 2013 "With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come." Those words, from President Obama's first inaugural address, have been set to music on a new album. Celebrating the American Spirit also features Broadway star Kelli O'Hara singing Bernstein.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/169703340/169704687" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
"Music modulates levels of dopamine in the brain which is a chemical responsible for reward and pleasure," says author Daniel Levitin.
January 17, 2013 We all know about the power of music — the songs that make you happy or trigger a poignant memory. But once in a while music can be even more intoxicating, as in a stunning performance that will be broadcast live to movie theaters worldwide this Saturday.
Tell us your hopes for classical music in 2013.
January 10, 2013 What can composers, performers and audiences do to help the music they love thrive? Join a discussion — with prominent musicians like Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Kevin Puts and Jennifer Higdon and conductor Marin Alsop — to help find solutions to classical music's many persistent problems.
Gustavo Dudamel conducts Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at Carnegie Hall.
January 9, 2013 Were you paying attention to what was happening in classical music in 2012? Here's a pop quiz. Try your hand at nailing the big and not so big stories of the past year.
Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt have an album coming out in March.
January 3, 2013 January is a slow month for new albums. To tide curious listeners over, we offer an exclusive sampler of musical treats soon to come — ranging from opera star Jonas Kaufmann in Wagner to the unlikely pairing of a Bach pianist and a rising singer-songwriter.
Classical music lost many fine artists in 2012.
December 31, 2012 Classical music fans lost far too many musicians in 2012. From towering figures like Elliott Carter and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau to artists such as innovative American composer William Duckworth, trumpeter Maurice André and the elegant opera singer Lisa Della Casa.
A sampling of one listener's cherished classical Christmas albums from a few years back.
December 24, 2012 The flow of good classical Christmas albums seems to have slowed to a trickle. And that's got one holiday listener longing for holiday albums from years past, from Jessye Norman's Christmastide, Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite and carols led by Robert Shaw.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/167061667/168014420" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
On their new album, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Thomas AdÃ¨s guide the listener to far-flung locales, conjured by an odd assortment of composers.
December 18, 2012 Cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist-composer Thomas Adès play together with uncommon instinct and energy. They shine in a recital of disparate pieces, culminating in a world-premiere recording of an eclectic new work by Adès.
Pianist Jeremy Denk, whose album of Ligeti and Beethoven landed on our Top 10 Classical of 2012.
Michael Wilson/courtesy of the artist
December 13, 2012 Ten albums released this year that you absolutely, positively won't want to miss — from marquee artists like Cecilia Bartoli and Michael Tilson Thomas to fresh discoveries, including American composer Michael Harrison, Denmark's Vagn Holmboe and a forgotten Baroque man of mystery.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/166505256/166593772" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations.
Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics
December 11, 2012 The soprano, whose life unfolded with more tragic and triumphant twists and turns than any opera plot was celebrated for her electrifying performances and her dissident political views.
Prominent musicians remember American composer Elliott Carter (who would have turned 104 today) through his music. Carter died last month.
Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
December 11, 2012 Musicians who loved Elliott Carter and his music remember the great composer (who died last month at age 103) by discussing pieces of his music that touched them personally. They show how his long professional relationships with performers illuminated the conversational complexity of his music.
Swiss soprano Lisa Della Casa's sweet and silvery voice was perfect for the music of Richard Strauss.
Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
December 11, 2012 The Swiss soprano will be remembered especially for singing songs and operas by Richard Strauss, which fit her sweet and silvery voice like couture gowns. She appeared more than 400 times at the Vienna State Opera and was a favorite at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1950s and '60s.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor