Duke Ellington's compositions present a timeless contribution to American music's legacy. Victor Drees//Evening Standard/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Victor Drees//Evening Standard/Getty Images

Violinist Joshua Bell conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields by doing what comes naturally to him. The celebrated soloist is also the London orchestra's music director. Chris Chrisodoulou/Sony Classical hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Chrisodoulou/Sony Classical

Composer Peter Lieberson wrote his Neruda Songs for his wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Johansen Krause/Peter Lieberson hide caption

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The late American conductor James DePreist. Wendy Leher/courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Wendy Leher/courtesy of the artist

Composer Mohammed Fairouz, whose hour-long chamber opera Sumeida's Song recently appeared on recording and on stage. Samantha West/courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Samantha West/courtesy of the artist

Afghanistan's youth orchestra performs in Kabul on Jan. 31. The orchestra is coming to the U.S. and will appear at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Daniel Barenboim conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 live at Carnegie Hall on February 3, 2013. Melanie Burford for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Melanie Burford for NPR

Stride piano pioneer James P. Johnson had dreams of becoming a successful symphonic composer. William Gottlieb hide caption

itoggle caption William Gottlieb

After a decade of lobbying by musicians, it will finally be easier for cellos to fly as comfortably as the people who play them. Flickr/modenadude hide caption

itoggle caption Flickr/modenadude

NPR Music, WQXR and (Le) Poisson Rouge host an intimate evening of music that spans both great Western and Middle Eastern music with members of an inspiring orchestra, led by one of classical music's most eminent artists. Ryan Muir for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ryan Muir for NPR

Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn relied on each other to shape their very different musical careers. Bettmann/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Bettmann/Corbis