Although 2015 produced arguably fewer bigheadlines in classical music than its predecessors, there were still surprising stories. The Minnesota Orchestra played Havana, Alan Gilbert announced his departure from the New York Philharmonic and pianist Valentina Lisitsa's politically volatile tweets boiled up a lot of hot water. Here's a look back at some of the notable stories, birthdays, anniversaries, recordings, awards and farewells that made 2015 unique.
Mozart In The Jungle: The Amazon series that portrays a fictitious New York orchestra, led by a charismatic Gael García Bernal, ruffled a few classical purists and sparked enough interest to merit a second season.
New York Philharmonic conductor steps down: On an otherwise calm Friday afternoon, Alan Gilbert shook the classical music world. The Philharmonic music director announced he would leave the orchestra in the summer of 2017. Two questions popped up immediately: Why did he pull the plug? And who will replace him?
Farewell, sheet music mecca: Frank Music Company, Manhattan's last standing store dedicated to sheet music, closed its doors. Operating since 1937, the venerable business was a pilgrimage site for many celebrated musicians but ultimately couldn't withstand competition from online retailers.
Boulez at 90: Once a bad boy of modern music who suggested blowing up the world's opera houses, Pierre Boulez transformed himself into an all-purpose conductor while remaining a composer of sensuously radical music.
Valentina Lisitsa's social media mayhem: With a series of incendiary political messages on Twitter, the pianist managed to not only divide her fans but get herself fired from an engagement with a leading orchestra, while another pianist was caught in the crossfire.
Minnesota Orchestra plays Havana: As relations between the U.S. and Cuba begin to normalize, the ensemble is the first major U.S. orchestra to perform on the island since 1999. For the musicians, the trip is more than just musical diplomacy.
A new baton in Berlin: The Berlin Philharmonic is often considered the best in the world. So when the musicians of the orchestra choose a new chief conductor, everyone in classical music takes note.