This rare portrait of Bach, by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, hung in John Eliot Gardiner's home during World War II.
courtesy of William H. Scheide, Princeton, N.J.
October 29, 2013 In his new book, conductor John Eliot Gardiner searches for clues to uncover what the great composer's life and personality were really like. He finds a man full of contradictions and unfathomable music — even "a great guy to go out and have a beer with."
Electronic artists such as Mason Bates (pictured above), Aphex Twin and Tiësto have blended classical music into their dance beats.
Courtesy of the artist
October 24, 2013 From pulsing techno to alluring ambient, hear what happens when two seemingly opposite musical realms collide on the dance floor and in the chill room. Hear a techno take on Carmina Burana and more.
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
October 17, 2013 Now that we've avoided a financial cataclysm, here's a suitable playlist for some of the swirling emotions of the past two weeks.
Giuseppe Verdi's operas have an uncanny ability to probe into our contemporary psyche.
Leemage/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
October 10, 2013 On the bicentennial of the composer's birth, his music seems keenly suited to our triumphs and our failures. His operas may star dukes, prostitutes or court jesters, but they are all packed with vital insights into human nature.
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Don't be caught fishing for facts about Verdi on the bicentennial of his birth.
October 9, 2013 Don't know your Traviata from your Trovatore or your Otello from your Aida? Try out this handy cheat sheet — with music — to explore the greatest of Italian composers on the centennial of his birth. Hear his music and learn the unlikely story of his rise from a small town to international renown.
Soprano Angela Meade made her professional debut in the role of Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera.
Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera
October 7, 2013 To mark the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi's birth, one of today's preeminent sopranos spins her favorite music by the master opera composer — from the emotionally electrifying fourth act of Il trovatore to the tender purity of the "Ave Maria" in Otello.
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Lawrence Brownlee performs a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
October 5, 2013 With a supple, strong, high-flying voice that can negotiate the tightest hairpin turns with grace and elegance, Lawrence Brownlee has conquered the world's great opera houses. But for this performance, the tenor circles back to his roots as a singer of spirituals.
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Antonio Pompa-Baldi's new album is a tribute to Francis Poulenc and Edith Piaf.
Steinway & Sons
September 25, 2013 In his new tribute album, pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi finds common ground between two odd bedfellows — composer Francis Poulenc and singer Edith Piaf. Their connection, he says, is the powerful way they expressed emotions through the beautiful melodies in their songs.
Caleb Burhans debut album as a composer is called Evensong.
Courtesy of the artist
September 8, 2013 From a new concerto by Béla Fleck to established concertos by Béla Bartok, NPR Music's Tom Huizenga and host Jacki Lyden spin a wide variety of new classical recordings.
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New York native Richard Tucker in the title role of Offenbach's The Tales Of Hoffmann.
Sedge LeBlang/Metopolitan Opera Archives
August 28, 2013 Mesmerized by the Caruso records he heard on the streets of lower Manhattan as a poor kid, Richard Tucker took to singing and never looked back. New York honors its native son with arias and corned beef.
August 21, 2013 Watch the violinist play music of the spheres amid twinkling lights with jazz bassist Ben Allison. Hope ponders the cosmos, bringing together music and time, with works from different centuries.
David Robertson, a passionate champion of new music, conducts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on tour in Berlin.
Dilip Vishwanat/St. Louis Symphony
August 13, 2013 Conductor David Robertson decodes America's orchestral anxieties, from nurturing new works to playing the classics. "I'm seen by many people as having horns and a forked tail," he says, "because I actually love to discover something that has not been played before."
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Anna Netrebko's Verdi comes out August 20.
August 11, 2013 For her first studio album in five years, the celebrated soprano reveals a newly darkened, larger-sounding voice in a tribute to Guiseppe Verdi.
Regina Resnik as Ellen Orford in the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes in 1948.
Metropolitan Opera Archives
August 9, 2013 An American singer began her long career as a soprano in her home country, then thrived as a mezzo in Europe. She also directed opera and documentary film, working with both her husband and son. She died in her native New York.
Baritone Thomas Hampson takes his punches for opera on a BBC talk show.
August 6, 2013 The celebrated singer Thomas Hampson found himself in a verbal boxing match, defending opera and classical music from an unusually contentious host on a recent British talk show.
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