Dutch composer Michel van der Aa, winner of the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.
Marco Borggreve/courtesy of the artist
November 25, 2012 Watch an excerpt of Up-close, the cello concerto/short film that has earned the Dutch composer this highly prestigious prize. Says van der Aa of his enigmatic piece: "It's the ritual of the communication, or failed communication, that's more important to me than the actual message."
The special effects in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's music helped forge a new cutting-edge style.
/De Agostini/Getty Images
November 20, 2012 The quirky musical habits of J.S. Bach's most impressive son would later become standard practice for composers of the next generation. British pianist Danny Driver uncovers the impetuous mood swings, curious key changes and whiplash stops and starts that define Bach's leading-edge style.
Hunting and gathering music for your Thanksgiving holiday? Check out our playlist.
November 19, 2012 Our suggestions for a playlist to accompany your Turkey Day, from cooking to dining to cleaning up, brimming with American sounds from all over the musical map.
From coffeehouses to punk clubs, Matt Haimovitz has played his cello in some surprising places.
November 15, 2012 Cellist Matt Haimovitz was raised on a strict diet of classical music. Somewhere along the way his tastes broadened considerably. Hear an eclectic mix of music — from Nina Simone to Mstislav Rostropovich — as the adventurous cellist spins his favorites in the studio.
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The players in the Belcea Quartet played a series of late Beethoven string quartets at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall.
November 7, 2012 In this concert at Carnegie's Zankel Hall, the group presents a pair of Beethoven's grand and enigmatic final quartets — works from the summit of a musical mountain.
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Composer Elliott Carter at the piano in 1989.
Jacques M. Chenet/Corbis
November 5, 2012 The composer, who was born in 1908 and won two Pulitzer Prizes for music that could be challenging and adventurously modern, died in New York.
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Gabriela Montero takes ideas from audience members to create on the spot improvisations.
November 5, 2012 The outspoken pianist is a fearless improviser with a passion for politics. At a concert at Northwestern University, hear her make up a tune on the spot, contrasting the two major presidential candidates in a freewheeling, thoroughly American musical debate.
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Little Ferry, N.J., photographed here Oct. 30, 2012, was one of the cities greatly affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
November 5, 2012 In the midst of crisis, music can sometimes mitigate the pain and loss. From powerful pop songs and intimate string quartets to soaring symphonies or singer-songwriters, tell us what you're listening to in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (and the stress of the election).
A satellite's view of Hurricane Sandy as it moves inland, Oct. 30, 2012.
October 31, 2012 Over centuries of nasty weather, composers have whipped up some impressive orchestral storms of their own. Put on your musical meteorologist cap to identify the symphonic tempests and their authors in this interactive puzzler, which shows low-pressure cells in the concert hall and the opera house.
For violinist Gidon Kremer's new album, he commissioned 11 composers to rework and build on keyboard music by J.S. Bach.
Courtesy of ECM records
October 30, 2012 Over the centuries, the durable music of J.S. Bach has withstood almost every type of makeover — sounding unscathed on anything from a banjo to a Japanese shamisen. Violinist Gidon Kremer's new album features fresh arrangements of the master's music and new works by 11 contemporary composers.
Bass Boris Christoff plays Philip II of Spain in Verdi's Don Carlo. Although the real Philip was a successful politician, he bankrupted his government four times.
Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
October 24, 2012 As election season sprints to the finish, take a detour to identify some operatic officeholders in an interactive political puzzler. Can you tell an emperor from a senator, a president from a king? Click, listen and test your knowledge of singing politicians.
The original production of John Adams' Nixon in China (at Houston Grand Opera) celebrates the 25-year mark.
Jim Caldwell /Houston Grand Opera
October 22, 2012 John Adams' first opera premiered 25 years ago today at Houston Grand Opera. Not only did Nixon in China bring recent history on stage, it ushered in a wave of operas based on contemporary personalities. Watch an excerpt of the original production, directed by Peter Sellars.
After a contentious labor duspute, the Indianapolis Symphony returns to the stage this weekend.
Thomas J. Russo /Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
October 19, 2012 Another week of peaks and valleys — Indianapolis returns its symphony to the stage, a Cuban ensemble is visiting Pennsylvania and Seattle threatens to strike. Meanwhile, Philly Orchestra players offer to replace a child's missing trombone. It's all the classical music news that's fit to link.
Simone Dinnerstein communes with the music of J.S. Bach at the NPR studio.
October 18, 2012 Hear the celebrated Bach interpreter play the tranquil Partita No. 1 in the NPR studio. Dinnerstein — who burst onto the scene with a popular recording of the Goldberg Variations — phrases her Bach lovingly, taking great care to find the subtle gestures and and ideas in and around the notes.
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Composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen's award-winning Violin Concerto receives its debut recording.
Mat Hennek/Deutsche Grammophon
October 16, 2012 The composer-conductor's award-winning Violin Concerto makes a stunning CD debut with violinist and McArthur "genius grant" fellow Leila Josefowicz. The exceptionally vivid music says farewell to the LA Philharmonic, which he led for 17 years and turned into a model of innovation.
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