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Classical Music

"I've thought to myself often listening to some classical works: 'I think I want to make a couple million dollars and turn that into a pop song,'" Joshua Bell (right) says, laughing. "There's a lot of untapped potential there."

Listen Joshua Bell And Jeremy Denk On 'Song Travels'

May 17, 2013 – Connect the dots between classical music and standards with the dynamic violin-and-piano duo.


Cartoon by Pablo Helguera.

Read Polly Want An Ostinato?

May 17, 2013 – Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon from Deceptive Cadence.

Watch Andris Nelsons Named Music Director Of The Boston Symphony

May 16, 2013 – The announcement puts an end to years of uncertainty at the storied orchestra.

Leonard Slatkin leads the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall.

Read Spring For Music: Detroit Symphony Orchestra At Carnegie Hall WQXR

May 13, 2013 – Leonard Slatkin leads music by Ravel and Rachmaninov, composers who straddled the 20th century. WQXR

Conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra gave the final performance in this year's Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall on May 11, 2013. The program was of all 20th-century Russian music: Shchedrin's Slava, Slava; Schnittke's Viola Concerto; and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony.

Read Spring For Music: National Symphony Orchestra At Carnegie Hall WQXR

May 11, 2013 – Hear 20th-century Russian music paying tribute to the NSO's late director, Mstislav Rostropovich. WQXR

Cartoon by Pablo Helguera.

Read Will Work For Feed

May 10, 2013 – Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon from Deceptive Cadence.

Mozart's Queen of the Night (portrayed here by soprano Diana Damrau), in his The Magic Flute, is one of opera's more intense mothers.

Read Moms In Opera: 5 Women On The Edge

May 9, 2013 – Why are so many operatic moms depicted as murderous women on the verge of a nervous breakdown?

Pianist James Rhodes.

Watch Do You Have To Nearly Kill Yourself To Be A Musician?

May 7, 2013 – A pianist ponders how far he's gone to learn to play his instrument — and suggests you try, too.

Ólafur Arnalds performs live at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City.

Watch Olafur Arnalds, Live In Concert

May 7, 2013 – Watch the Icelandic musician's magnificent work as it's re-imagined with a 28-member orchestra.


Nicola Benedetti performs a Tiny Desk Concert in February 2013.

Watch Nicola Benedetti: Tiny Desk Concert

May 6, 2013 – Watch the violinist spin out music by John Williams and Bach in sweet, soulful tendrils of sound.


Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Listen Jean-Yves Thibaudet On 'Song Travels'

May 3, 2013 – The pianist covers Spanish composer Federico Mompou and American popular songwriter Alec Wilder.


Cartoon by Pablo Helguera.

Read The Chrome Depot

May 3, 2013 – Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon from Deceptive Cadence.

Conductor Valery Gergiev, who turns 60 today.

Watch What Do You Get Valery Gergiev For His 60th Birthday?

May 2, 2013 – If you're the conductor's friend Vladimir Putin: a resuscitated Soviet prize — and a new theater.

Composer Tristan Perich in his home and workspace.

Watch 1-Bit Composer Tristan Perich's Practice Space Q2

April 30, 2013 – A visit with the electronic composer shows bins and bins of quirky new and used gear. Q2

Cellist Janos Starker with one of his classes at Indiana University. He said he was "put on this earth to be a teacher."

Watch Remembering Janos Starker, The Cellist 'Born To Be A Teacher'

April 29, 2013 – Although renowned as a soloist and Grammy winner, he devoted much of his life to teaching.


Hungarian-born American cellist Janos Starker died Sunday at 88. Starker's career included more than 165 recordings, as well as decades of teaching.

Watch Janos Starker, A Master Of The Cello, Dies At 88

April 28, 2013 – Born in 1924, musician Janos Starker's path to wide acclaim included surviving a Nazi labor camp.


A Chinese and a North Korean embrace in a pledge of everlasting (political) love. From Raid on the White Tiger Regiment, 1971.

Read Amazingly Odd Operas From Revolutionary China

April 26, 2013 – Explore the extravagant, but politically dogmatic, operas of China's Cultural Revolution.

Cartoon by Pablo Helguera.

Read The Ultimate Soloist

April 26, 2013 – Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.

Ingolf Wunder pays tribute to 300 years of keyboard music on his new album 300.

Read Three Must-Hear Piano Albums

April 23, 2013 – Three new records prove the old box of wires and hammers called the piano still draws top players.

David Lang's new album, Death Speaks, comes out April 30.

Read First Listen: David Lang, 'Death Speaks'

April 21, 2013 – Aided by Schubert and four stellar musicians, the Pulitzer-winning composer ponders the afterlife.

Caroline Shaw, who composed the piece Partita for 8 Voices for her vocal group Roomful of Teeth, is the youngest-ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Read A Moment With Pulitzer-Winning Composer Caroline Shaw

April 20, 2013 – Shaw says writing her prize-winning piece meant extracting sounds that only existed in her head.


The Dresden Staatskapelle's principal conductor, Christian Thielemann, asserts that Anton Bruckner's music, in its long-winding search for beauty, is the perfect antidote for modern life. He and the orchestra brought Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 to Carnegie Hall on April 19, 2013.

Listen Carnegie Hall Live: Dresden Staatskapelle Plays Bruckner WQXR

April 19, 2013 – A venerable orchestra brings Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, and its new conductor, to New York. WQXR


Cartoon by Pablo Helguera.

Read The Art Of The Centri-Fugue

April 19, 2013 – Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.

In her latest video message, opera star Joyce DiDonato ponders the art of loneliness on the road.

Watch How Do You Handle Loneliness On The Road?

April 18, 2013 – The refreshingly open American mezzo Joyce DiDonato doles out some great advice.

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