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Monteverdi's Poppea. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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The Brooklyn Bridge in 1884. Dvorak would arrive in New York only six years later to head the National Conservatory of Music. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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A caricature of composer Richard Wagner. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Cellist Jacqueline Du Pre, recording with Sir John Barbirolli. David Farrell/EMI Classics hide caption

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In his diary, Sibelius noted the inspiration for the grand theme in his Fifth Symphony: "Today I saw 16 swans. God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a silver ribbon." Istock hide caption

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