NPR logo Classical Music From ...TED?

Classical Music From ...TED?

Soprano Danielle de Niese.

courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of the artist

I'm a complete TED fangirl. I get irrationally excited when I see new talks from the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference arrive. I just feel smarter listening to intelligent people from around the globe speaking about their passions and creative pursuits of all sorts, from writing to developing solar technology to advances in neurology.

But it's also become a rich treasure trove of musical performances and talks about musicians' creative processes, as you can see in these five videos. Enjoy.

5 Great Classical Performances And Talks from TED

Cover for Handel Arias

Danielle de Niese at TED Global

  • Song:
  • from Handel Arias
  • by Danielle DeNiese

On the lighter side of things, the soprano sings a flirty "Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss" from Giuditta by Franz Lehár, accompanied by Ingrid Surgenor and recorded in Edinburgh in July 2011.

Soprano Danielle de Niese.

TED YouTube
Cover for Beethoven: Symphonies No. 5 & No. 7

Benjamin Zander On Music And Passion

  • Song:
  • from Beethoven: Symphonies No. 5 & No. 7
  • by Benjamin Zander

The conductor and compelling public speaker Benjamin Zander in what has become one of the classic TED talks. (I will admit a certain bias here, as I was lucky enough to attend small weekly master classes with Zander in high school — but more than 1.8 million people have watched this one.)

By the way, if you've ever wondered what the name of our blog means, check out his pithy explanation, which starts around 10'37".

The conductor Benjamin Zander on music

TED YouTube

Maya Beiser In 8 Forms

  • Song:
  • from Provenance
  • by Maya Beiser

Cellist Maya Beiser replicates herself seven times over to play Steve Reich's Cello Counterpoint, with video from Bill Morrison, and then David Lang's World to Come, with video by Irit Batsry, recorded in March 2011.

Cellist Maya Beiser.

TED YouTube
Cover for Her Greatest Hits

Evelyn Glennie

  • Song:
  • from Her Greatest Hits

Says the marvelous (and deaf) percussionist Evelyn Glennie: "My aim really is to teach the world to listen." Recorded in February 2003.

Percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

TED YouTube
Cover for Ethel

Ethel Plays Phil Kline

  • Song:
  • from Ethel
  • by Ethel

A gorgeous performance of the third movement of Phil Kline's The Blue Room And Other Stories, filmed in February 2006.

The string quartet Ethel.

TED YouTube

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.