Gustavo Dudamel conducts Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at Carnegie Hall.
January 9, 2013 Were you paying attention to what was happening in classical music in 2012? Here's a pop quiz. Try your hand at nailing the big and not so big stories of the past year.
Violinist Leonidas Kavakos.
courtesy of the artist
January 8, 2013 Hear an excerpt from a new recording of Beethoven's violin sonatas by the violinist and his collaborator, pianist Enrico Pace, that keeps the spotlight on the compositions, not the soloist. A musician's musician, Kavakos focuses on more than just the pretty sounds his instrument can make.
The cast of Season 3 of the worldwide smash series Downton Abbey.
Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE/PBS
January 7, 2013 How the season opener of the worldwide smash television series reminded one viewer of an orchestral piece by Maurice Ravel — 'La Valse' depicts an elegant world gone to pieces in the aftermath of World War I. Ravel's experiences in the war left him as shattered as the show's characters.
Not mainstream enough to mark? A portrait of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau taken circa 1965.
Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
January 4, 2013 The burning question of the week: Is classical music visible enough to a mainstream audience? And do you have to memorize music to be a great artist? All the classical music world's news, collected for your pleasure. Plus: Portlandia, Second City and music critic/killing machine Stephen Hawking.
January 4, 2013 Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.
Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt have an album coming out in March.
January 3, 2013 January is a slow month for new albums. To tide curious listeners over, we offer an exclusive sampler of musical treats soon to come — ranging from opera star Jonas Kaufmann in Wagner to the unlikely pairing of a Bach pianist and a rising singer-songwriter.
In Minneapolis, the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are appealing for public support.
/Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra
January 1, 2013 Financial woes and contentious negotiations between labor and management have plagued many American orchestras this year. Where can they go from here?
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Classical music lost many fine artists in 2012.
December 31, 2012 Classical music fans lost far too many musicians in 2012. From towering figures like Elliott Carter and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau to artists such as innovative American composer William Duckworth, trumpeter Maurice André and the elegant opera singer Lisa Della Casa.
The real Joyce Hatto, pre-scandal, with condutor Martin Fogel and composer Walter Gaze Cooper at the piano in 1954.
Fred Ramage/Getty Images
December 28, 2012 Classical fraud on the small screen, maybe the best classical app ever and much more: what you need to read, watch and hear this week. Plus: "obscene" Britten, a scary Nutcracker and operatic takes on both "Gangnam Style" and extreme pizza.
December 28, 2012 Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.
E.T.A. Hoffmann's original story, "Nutcracker and Mouse King," is darker and spookier than the ballet version most people know.
December 25, 2012 Few people today remember E.T.A. Hoffmann, but most everyone is familiar with his most famous creation: The Nutcracker. NPR's Robert Siegel traces the history of everyone's favorite Christmas ballet all the way back to its much darker original version.
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A sampling of one listener's cherished classical Christmas albums from a few years back.
December 24, 2012 The flow of good classical Christmas albums seems to have slowed to a trickle. And that's got one holiday listener longing for holiday albums from years past, from Jessye Norman's Christmastide, Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite and carols led by Robert Shaw.
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Marin Alsop conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in a beachfront concert Sunday for 20,000 people in Santos, Brazil.
December 22, 2012 The inspirational El Sistema music education program, developed in Venezuela, has Sao Paulo Symphony conductor Marin Alsop fantasizing about a better musical world. Her other orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, is bringing similar opportunities to Charm City children.
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December 21, 2012 Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.
Tenor Rolando Villazon: "I don't think you learn anything from blogs and reviews."
Philippe Merle/AFP/Getty Images
December 21, 2012 A pair of revealing interviews, peacocks who talk and support — moral and financial — for orchestras: your guide to what you must know in classical music this week. Plus: the Schumann 'brand' and Dave Brubeck's encounter with Schoenberg, who wouldn't take even two.
Cellist Juan Manuel Chavez, whose instrument is made from an oil can and discarded bits of wood.
December 19, 2012 An upcoming documentary highlights an extraordinary orchestra in Paraguay, whose young members play instruments made out of trash in a slum built on top of a landfill. Watch the trailer.
On their new album, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Thomas AdÃ¨s guide the listener to far-flung locales, conjured by an odd assortment of composers.
December 18, 2012 Cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist-composer Thomas Adès play together with uncommon instinct and energy. They shine in a recital of disparate pieces, culminating in a world-premiere recording of an eclectic new work by Adès.
Myrlie Evers-Williams leads her three children — Reena (from left), Van and Darrell — at the family piano, circa 1965.
Courtesy of the Evers family
December 15, 2012 Myrlie Evers-Williams is the widow of assassinated civil rights activist Medgar Evers. After her husband's death, she became a noted activist herself. But music has always been one of her loves, and she's about to fulfill a longtime dream on the Carnegie stage.
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Andre Rieu's latest release is an album and DVD of Christmas music called Home for the Holidays.
Courtesy of the artist
December 14, 2012 The Dutch violinist and conductor, often called "The King of the Waltz," is one of the most commercially successful classical artists in history. His latest release is an album and DVD of Christmas music called Home for the Holidays.
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December 14, 2012 Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.
The late sitar master and Indian cultural legend Ravi Shankar performing in Bangalore in February 2012.
December 14, 2012 A string of sorrow this week after four artists' deaths, tempered by one very uplifting orchestra: catch up on all the week's news that you must know. A video game composer is up for a Grammy, Steinway may move out of its longtime home and a critic points out the inherent wackiness of opera.
Pianist Jeremy Denk, whose album of Ligeti and Beethoven landed on our Top 10 Classical of 2012.
Michael Wilson/courtesy of the artist
December 13, 2012 Ten albums released this year that you absolutely, positively won't want to miss — from marquee artists like Cecilia Bartoli and Michael Tilson Thomas to fresh discoveries, including American composer Michael Harrison, Denmark's Vagn Holmboe and a forgotten Baroque man of mystery.
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The late sitarist, composer and musical ambassador Ravi Shankar, who died Tuesday at age 92.
Carolyn Jones/courtesy of EMI Classics
December 12, 2012 Ravi Shankar was not just an ambassador for Indian culture. He was an intrepid musical explorer who as a teenager heard Cab Calloway and who created collaborations with artists ranging from George Harrison to Yehudi Menuhin to Philip Glass. Hear five Shankar collaborations you must know.
Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations.
Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics
December 11, 2012 The soprano, whose life unfolded with more tragic and triumphant twists and turns than any opera plot was celebrated for her electrifying performances and her dissident political views.
Prominent musicians remember American composer Elliott Carter (who would have turned 104 today) through his music. Carter died last month.
Erich Auerbach/Getty Images
December 11, 2012 Musicians who loved Elliott Carter and his music remember the great composer (who died last month at age 103) by discussing pieces of his music that touched them personally. They show how his long professional relationships with performers illuminated the conversational complexity of his music.
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