"I speak about the mindsets of these characters," composer Kaija Saariaho says. "What does it mean that we love somebody? And do we really love another person, or do we love our idea of love?" Maarit Kytöharju/Metropolitan Opera hide caption

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Maarit Kytöharju/Metropolitan Opera

'Half Of Humanity Has Something To Say': Composer Kaija Saariaho On Her Met Debut

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Tenor William Burden, pictured at the far left, plays George Bailey in the new production. Karen Almond/Houston Grand Opera hide caption

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Karen Almond/Houston Grand Opera

Bringing A Christmas Classic To Wonderful Life — On Stage

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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist John Locke stands beside conductor Marin Alsop, who holds the giant hammer Gustav Mahler includes in his Sixth Symphony. Izabel Zambrzycki/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra hide caption

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Izabel Zambrzycki/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Hammered: Pounding Out The Excess In Mahler's Sixth Symphony

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Gianandrea Noseda thinks jeans and T-shirts at classical concerts are just fine. Scott Suchman/National Symphony Orchestra hide caption

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Scott Suchman/National Symphony Orchestra

Simone Dinnerstein plays The Cohen Variations, by Daniel Felsenfeld in the NPR studios Doriane Raiman/NPR hide caption

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Doriane Raiman/NPR

A New Twist On The Leonard Cohen Classic 'Suzanne'

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"In the midst of chaos, I find peace by loving," Joyce DiDonato says. "I love, and that gets me out of the situation." Brooke Shaden/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Brooke Shaden/Courtesy of the artist

Joyce DiDonato On Why Art Matters In The Midst Of Chaos

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Wynton Marsalis onstage in New York in April 2016. His new violin concerto made its East Coast debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center last week. Andrew Toth/Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Toth/Getty Images

The Transatlantic Collaboration Behind Wynton Marsalis' New Violin Concerto

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Don Giovanni (Gerald Finley, left) is pulled down to hell by the ghost of the Commendatore (Alastair Mills) in a Glyndebourne production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Robbie Jack /Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Robbie Jack /Corbis via Getty Images

Composer Steve Reich, who turned 80 on Oct. 3. Carolyn Cole/LA Times via Getty Images hide caption

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Carolyn Cole/LA Times via Getty Images

Steve Reich At 80: The Phases Of A Lifetime In Music

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Conductor Neville Marriner. Lukasz Unterschuetz/courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Lukasz Unterschuetz/courtesy of the artist

Neville Marriner, Who Recorded The Beloved Soundtrack to 'Amadeus,' Has Died

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Nadia Sirota wants contemporary classical music to feel approachable. "There's no chance it'll disappoint a new listener, but people do need a way in," she says. Samantha West/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Samantha West/Courtesy of the artist

Nadia Sirota On Making Music Accessible (Even When It's Weird)

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"Even people who come in cold without any knowledge — you still hope that somehow the music will speak to them," Christopher Rouse says. Jeffrey Herman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Jeffrey Herman/Courtesy of the artist

Newlywed Composer Christopher Rouse On His Encoded Musical Love Letters

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Breaking the Waves explores the relationship between a deeply religious young woman named Bess (played by Keira Duffy) and a Nordic oil worker named Jan. Dominic M. Mercier/Opera Philadelphia hide caption

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Dominic M. Mercier/Opera Philadelphia

'It's Familiar To All The Women In My Family:' Adapting Von Trier For The Opera

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James Horner in 2011. The composer, responsible for more than 100 film scores over 40 years, died in a plane crash in 2015. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

James Horner's Posthumous Works Tell A Story Of His Life

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On his new album, pianist Pavel Kolesnikov arranges Chopin's Mazurkas like a mixtape. Colin Way/Hyperion Records hide caption

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Colin Way/Hyperion Records

09Mazurka, in A Minor, Op. 17, No. 4

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  • Buy Featured Music

    Song
    Mazurka, in A Minor, Op. 17, No. 4
    Album
    Chopin: Mazurkas
    Artist
    Pavel Kolesnikov
    Released
    2016

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Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and celebrated critic Virgil Thomson, photographed in 1972. The Library of America has brought out a second volume of his writings on music. Jack Mitchell/Getty Images hide caption

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Virgil Thomson: On being a composer

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From Trash To Triumph: The Recycled Orchestra

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In 1959, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was performed for the first time by an all-Chinese orchestra and sung in Mandarin. Courtesy of China National Symphony Orchecstra hide caption

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Courtesy of China National Symphony Orchecstra

Tracing The People's Republic Of Beethoven

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The members of The Westerlies call themselves "an accidental brass quartet." Michael George hide caption

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Michael George

Songs We Love: The Westerlies, 'Saro'

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