The cast of Season 3 of the worldwide smash series Downton Abbey. Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE/PBS hide caption

itoggle caption Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE/PBS

Not mainstream enough to mark? A portrait of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau taken circa 1965. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt have an album coming out in March. Sony Classical hide caption

itoggle caption Sony Classical

In Minneapolis, the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are appealing for public support. /Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra hide caption

itoggle caption /Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

The real Joyce Hatto, pre-scandal, with condutor Martin Fogel and composer Walter Gaze Cooper at the piano in 1954. Fred Ramage/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Fred Ramage/Getty Images

E.T.A. Hoffmann's original story, "Nutcracker and Mouse King," is darker and spookier than the ballet version most people know. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

A sampling of one listener's cherished classical Christmas albums from a few years back. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

Marin Alsop conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in a beachfront concert Sunday for 20,000 people in Santos, Brazil. Desiree Furoni hide caption

itoggle caption Desiree Furoni

Tenor Rolando Villazon: "I don't think you learn anything from blogs and reviews." Philippe Merle/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Philippe Merle/AFP/Getty Images

On their new album, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Thomas Adès guide the listener to far-flung locales, conjured by an odd assortment of composers. Hyperion hide caption

itoggle caption Hyperion

Myrlie Evers-Williams leads her three children — Reena (from left), Van and Darrell — at the family piano, circa 1965. Courtesy of the Evers family hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the Evers family

Andre Rieu's latest release is an album and DVD of Christmas music called Home for the Holidays. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

The late sitar master and Indian cultural legend Ravi Shankar performing in Bangalore in February 2012. AFP/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Pianist Jeremy Denk, whose album of Ligeti and Beethoven landed on our Top 10 Classical of 2012. Michael Wilson/courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Wilson/courtesy of the artist

The late sitarist, composer and musical ambassador Ravi Shankar, who died Tuesday at age 92. Carolyn Jones/courtesy of EMI Classics hide caption

itoggle caption Carolyn Jones/courtesy of EMI Classics

Soprano Galina Vishnevskaya was once caleld the "Russian Maria Callas" for her intense interpretations. Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics hide caption

itoggle caption Capitol Records, Inc, courtesy of EMI Classics

Prominent musicians remember American composer Elliott Carter (who would have turned 104 today) through his music. Carter died last month. Erich Auerbach/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Erich Auerbach/Getty Images